U.S. Current Account Deficit Climbs to $218 billion, 2nd Highest Ever

The U.S. current-account deficit, the broadest measure of U.S. international trade in goods and services, receipts and payments of income, and net unilateral current transfers (such as gifts) increased to $218.4 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2006 from $213.2 billion in the first quarter, reports the US Dept. of Commerce. The current account deficit remained at 6.6% of U.S. GDP.

  • The deficit on goods increased to $210.6 billion from $208.0 billion

  • The surplus on services was virtually unchanged at $16.8 billion 

  • The deficit on income increased to $4.1 billion from $2.5 billion 

  • Net unilateral current transfers were net outflows (payments) of $20.4 billion, up from $19.5 billion.

Net recorded financial inflows—net acquisitions by foreign residents of assets in the United States less net acquisitions by U.S. residents of assets abroad—were $154.1 billion in the second quarter, down from $171.5 billion in the first.

  • U.S.-owned assets abroad increased $212.3 billion in the second quarter after they had increased $356.0 billion in the first.

  • Foreign-owned assets in the United States increased $366.4 billion in the second quarter after they had increased $527.5 billion in the first.

Net U.S. purchases of foreign securities were $52.2 billion in the second quarter, down from $53.7 billion in the first. Net U.S. purchases of foreign stocks were $17.4 billion, down from $41.1 billion. Net U.S. purchases of foreign bonds were $34.8 billion, up from $12.6 billion. 

U.S. direct investment abroad increased $47.1 billion in the second quarter, following an increase of $61.3 billion in the first. Foreign direct investment in the United States increased $48.4 billion in the second quarter, following an increase of $45.3 billion in the first.

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