Department of Commerce reported on Wednesday that current account (C/A) gap in
the U.S. widened by 11.8 percent q-o-q to $195.7 billion in the first quarter
of 2021 from a revised $175.1 billion gap in the previous quarter (originally
-$188.5 billion). This was the highest C/A deficit since the first quarter of
The deficit was 3.6 percentage of current-dollar GDP in the first quarter, up from 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Economists had forecast a deficit of $206.8 billion.
According to the report, a $20.7 billion widening of the C/A deficit in the first quarter mostly reflected an increased deficit on goods and a reduced surplus on primary income.
Exports of goods rose $24.5 billion, to $408.6 billion, and imports of goods jumped 39.9 billion, to $677.0 billion. The gains in both exports and imports reflected increases in nearly all major categories.
Exports of services went up $1.1 billion, to $175.9 billion, while imports of services rose $1.8 billion, to $120.2 billion.
Receipts of primary income grew $9.6 billion, to $261.7 billion, while payments of primary income went up $13.5 billion, to $211.4 billion. The advances in both receipts and payments mainly reflected increases in direct investment income.
Elsewhere, receipts of secondary income rose $1.6 billion, to $42.6 billion and payments of secondary income increased $2.3 billion, to $75.9 billion, mainly reflecting increases in general government transfers.
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