U.S. current account widens sharply in third quarter

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles, California
FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen on a shipping dock, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in the Port of Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

December 18, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. current account deficit surged in the third quarter as a record rebound in consumer spending pulled in imports, outpacing a recovery in exports.

The Commerce Department said on Friday the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, widened 10.6% to $178.5 billion last quarter.

Data for the second quarter was revised to show a $161.4 billion shortfall, instead of $170.5 billion as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the current account gap increasing to $189.0 billion in the July-September quarter.

(Editing by Alex Richardson)