U.S. Current-Account Deficit Shrank in the Third Quarter

By Sharon Nunn and Sarah ChaneyFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

The U.S. current account deficit, a measure of the nation's trade and financial flows with other countries, decreased to $100.57 billion in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $116.0 billion deficit.

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Deficits on secondary income, including U.S. government transfers, and goods shrank last quarter, while surpluses in primary income and services further increased, narrowing the overall current-account gap.

The deficit declined to 2.1% of current-dollar gross domestic product in the third quarter, compared to 2.6% in the second quarter.

The current account tracks movements of goods and services across borders as well as income from investments and other money movements, such as remittances. The U.S. has run persistent trade deficits for decades because the country imports more than it exports, as Americans consume more than they produce relative to the rest of the world's economies.

The Commerce Department report on U.S. international transactions can be found at www.bea.gov/newsreleases/rels.htm.

Write to Sharon Nunn at sharon.nunn@wsj.com and Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 19, 2017 08:45 ET (13:45 GMT)