US Current Account Trade Deficit Unexpectedly Down 6.5% in 1Q 2006

$11.7 billion
Japan's Current Account Surplus in Apr'06

$13 billion
China's Trade Surplus in May'06 

The U.S. current-account deficit--the combined balances on trade in goods and services, income, and net unilateral current transfers--decreased to $208.7 billion in the first quarter of 2006, down 6.5% from an all-time high deficit of $223.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005, reports US Commerce Department.

The current account deficit for the full year in 2005 jumped 19% to $791.5 billion, up from $665.3 billion in 2004.

  • The deficit on goods decreased to $208.0 billion in the first quarter from $212.5 billion in the fourth.
  • The surplus on services decreased to $17.2 billion in the first quarter from $17.7 billion in the fourth.
  • Receipts for compensation of U.S. workers abroad were at $0.7 billion, and payments for compensation of foreign workers in the United States were at $2.3 billion.
  • Americans earned $1.9 billion more on their overseas investments than foreigners earned on their U.S. holdings, returning this figure to positive territory after it had slipped to a negative $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter.
  • Net U.S. purchases of foreign securities were $53.5 billion in the first quarter, up from $47.3 billion in the fourth.
  • Net financial flows for U.S. direct investment abroad shifted to net outflows of $61.8 billion in the first quarter from net inflows of $25.8 billion in the fourth.

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