U.S. Account Deficit Rises in Q2

The deficit totaled 5.1% of GDP.

The U.S. current account deficit widened to $183.1 billion in the second quarter of 2008, from a downwardly revised $175.6 billion in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said on Sept. 17.

The account deficit is the broadest measure of the flow of goods, services and capital in and out of the U.S. In the second quarter, the deficit totaled 5.1% of the U.S. gross domestic product, up slightly from 5% in the first quarter.

The deficit rose due to an increase in the trade deficit on goods and a decrease in the surplus on income, according to the statement. The deficit on goods increased to $216.3 billion in the second quarter from $211 billion in the first.

Income receipts on U.S.-owned assets abroad decreased to $194.1 billion in the second quarter from $199.1 billion in the first quarter.

Foreign residents' acquisitions of U.S. assets slowed significantly in the period from June-August. They increased $26.3 billion, compared to an increase of $459 billion in the first quarter.

U.S.-owned assets abroad also fell to $110.4 billion in the same period, from $260.6 billion in the first quarter.

The U.S. also slowed its purchases of foreign securities and stocks. It also reduced direct investments abroad to $65.5 billion in the second quarter, down from $26.9 billion in the first quarter.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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