Goods Exports Help Trim Current Account Deficit

Higher exports of U.S. goods helped lower the U.S. current account deficit for the first quarter of this year.

The current account balance, which also includes trade in services and international income flows, is the broadest measure of the U.S. international economic position, and in the January-through-March quarter of 2006 the deficit fell to $208.7 billion from a revised figure of $223.1 billion for the final quarter of 2005, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on June 16.

Goods exports increased to $244.5 billion in the first quarter of this year, $11.6 billion higher than the $232.9 billion worth of goods exported in 2005's fourth quarter. "The increase was largely accounted for by increases in industrial supplies and materials, and in capital goods," the department said. As a result, the goods deficit fell to $208 billion in the first quarter from $212.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005.

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