The US current account deficit soared in the third quarter of 2021 to a 15-year high amid a record surge in imports as companies sought to replenish their already nearly depleted inventories.
The Commerce Department said, on Tuesday, that the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments in and out of the country, accelerated by 8.3% to $214.8 billion in the third quarter of the year. It was the largest deficit in a similar period since 2006.
The number also exceeded estimates. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a deficit of $205 billion in the first quarter.
Second-quarter data was revised to show a deficit of 198.3 billion, instead of the previously reported 190.3 billion.
The current account deficit represents 3.7% of GDP. This is the highest percentage since the last quarter of 2008 and a rise compared to 3.5% was observed in the April-June period.
However, the deficit is still below the peak of 6.3% of GDP reached in the fourth quarter of 2005, as the United States is now a net exporter of crude oil and fuel.
The $16.5 billion increase in the current account deficit in the third quarter reflected a decline in the surplus in services and a broader deficit in secondary income and goods that was partially offset by an expanded primary income surplus.
Trade in goods and services
Exports of goods rose $4.8 billion to $441 billion, mainly reflecting increased supplies and industrial materials such as natural gas and oil, and in consumer goods, especially pharmaceuticals, dental products and pharmaceuticals.
Reductions in foods and beverages such as corn and soy partially offset these increases.
Service exports declined from $190.879 million in the second quarter to $190.829 million in the third quarter, mainly reflecting decreases in fees for use of intellectual property such as licenses to use research and development results (such as patents and trade secrets). , in telecommunications and computing, among others.
An increase in other business services, mostly professional and management consulting services, partially offset these declines.
Services imports rose $12 billion to $141 billion, primarily reflecting increases in travel.
Basic income rose to $281 billion, reflecting an increase in investment income, primarily securities.
“Future teen idol. Hardcore twitter trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble travel evangelist.”