U.S. Current Account Deficit Approaches $165 Billion

By John S. McClenahen The current account balance, the broadest measure of the United States' international economic position, was deep in deficit during the third calendar quarter of this year, though not as deep as economists generally expected. The deficit was $164.7 billion in the July-through-September quarter, $300 million more than the revised figure of $164.4 billion in the second quarter, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Dec. 16. A deficit of $171 billion was anticipated. The financial account, one of several elements of the current account, showed that U.S. assets abroad increased by $133.2 billion during the third quarter of 2004, compared with an increase of $105.8 billion in the second quarter, and that foreign investments in the U.S. increased by $286.4 billion during the third quarter compared with a $270.7 billion increase in the second quarter.

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