U.S. Trade Deficit Fell 12.1% in Second Quarter as Exports Rose

ExportsBy MARTIN CRUTSINGER

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the April-June period, pushed lower by an increase in American exports and cheaper oil imports.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the deficit in the current account decreased 12.1 percent to $117.4 billion in the second quarter. That's down from a deficit of $133.6 billion in the January-March quarter, which had been the largest in three years.

The current account is the broadest measure of trade. It tracks the sale of merchandise and services between nations as well as investment flows. Economists watch the current account as a sign of how much the United States needs to borrow from foreigners.

Many economists predict it will widen again in coming quarters. A global slowdown has dampened demand of for U.S. exports. And oil prices are rising again, in part because of increased Middle East tensions.

Europe's debt crisis has pushed much of the region into recession. The region accounts for about one-fifth of U.S. export sales. And other major export markets, including China, India and Brazil, have experienced slower growth.

The current account deficit hit an all-time high of $800.6 billion in 2006. It then shrank after a deep recession reduced U.S. demand for foreign goods by a greater amount than U.S. export sales were dampened. The trade gap began widening again after the recession ended in June 2009.

The economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter and job growth has been disappointing.

That prompted the Federal Reserve last week to announce new efforts aimed at boosting the economy and combating high unemployment. The Fed on Thursday said it buy an average of $40 billion a month in mortgage bonds to try to lower long-term interest rates lower and stimulate the economy. The Fed said it will keep buying bonds until the economy and job market show significant improvement.

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cpo1514

The economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 1.7 percent in the April-June quarter and job growth has been disappointing.

What an article!!!!!!!!!!! Time for President Romney to clean up this Occupants mess??????

September 19 2012 at 12:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ponypilot04

Cheaper oil ? Sure....ok. If that's true, there's the reason for the difference.....nothing that any policy has done.

September 18 2012 at 2:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
geocur3971

Yeah, sure, we already know that: Employment is rising. The national deficit is being helped. And that this administration has CREATED JOBS FOR EVERY CONSECUTIVE MONTH NOW FOR DAMN NEAR 3 YEARS.

But Obama ain't doing a damned thing, right?

And tell me, are 96,000 jobs just a bit better than NO DAMNED JOBS AT ALL?

September 18 2012 at 11:52 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to geocur3971's comment
cpo1514

dumbo.... exactly how low are your expectations for this clown???? Dod you get mustard on the poop sandwich to go with your Obama cool aide????

September 19 2012 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dus48

is this another of the yarns being spread around.the entire economy is in freefall.wait till the beginning of the year.than the entire truth little by little will come out.as for the media they dont care they are making millions.its the regular joe who works hard who is going to pay the price.all this about got you journalism is not going to work.simple economics will.

September 18 2012 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dus48's comment
itacurubi

No doubt about it: Your economics are indeed simple.

September 18 2012 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to itacurubi's comment
jdykbpl45

You must understand that Obnobics is simple, like Bernake, Borrow our way to riches.

September 18 2012 at 6:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
conan12311980

Duh, it is harvest time and we feed the world. Food is the one thing we have left to export.

September 18 2012 at 10:28 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to conan12311980's comment
itacurubi

The fiugure is seasonally adjusted for precisely that sort of reason. So your point is moot.

September 18 2012 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pdbliz

ARE THESE REAL NUMBERS,??? ARE THEY NUMBERS THE GOVERMENT MADE UP.!!???

I DO NOT TRUST OUR GOVERMENT AS FAR AS I COULD THROW THEM,!!!

I AM TALKING ABOUT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATES.!!!!!!!!!

September 18 2012 at 9:17 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pdbliz's comment
itacurubi

They sound like reasonable numbers. The investment flow, for example, is almost certainly doing well as the stock market attracts more foreign buyers.

September 18 2012 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to itacurubi's comment
jdykbpl45

Buying our debt? That is good? How will we pay it?

September 18 2012 at 6:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down