U.S. Account Gap Largest Since '08

The U.S. current account deficit widened more than expected in the first quarter to $137.3 billion, the largest gap since fourth quarter 2008, a government report said on Thursday.

The current account, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the United States, widened to 3.6 percent of gross domestic product, also the biggest since fourth quarter 2008. In the fourth quarter of last year the deficit was 3.1 percent of GDP.

Most of the widening came from a drop in the U.S. surplus on income and an increase in the trade deficit, the Commerce Department said.

Analysts surveyed before the report had expected the current account gap to widen to $132.3 billion.

The Commerce Department revised its estimate of the fourth-quarter current deficit to $118.7 billion, from $124.1 billion previously.