U.S. International Transactions, Third Quarter 2020

The BEA reports Current Account Deficit Widens by 10.6 Percent in Third Quarter

  • The U.S. current account deficit, which reflects the combined balances on trade in goods and services and income flows between U.S. residents and residents of other countries, widened by $17.2 billion, or 10.6 percent, to $178.5 billion in the third quarter of 2020. The revised second quarter deficit was $161.4 billion.
  • The third quarter deficit was 3.4 percent of current dollar gross domestic product, up from 3.3 percent in the second quarter. 
  • The $17.2 billion widening of the current account deficit in the third quarter mostly reflected an expanded deficit on goods that was partly offset by an expanded surplus on primary income.

Quarterly US Current Account Transactions 2020 

Quarterly US Current Account Transactions 2020 Q3

Trade Details 

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  • Exports of goods increased $68.4 billion, to $357.1 billion
  • Imports of goods increased $94.4 billion, to $602.7 billion. 
  • Exports of services increased $2.8 billion, to $164.8 billion, mainly reflecting an increase in charges for the use of intellectual property.
  • Imports of services increased $6.5 billion, to $107.7 billion, mainly reflecting increases in charges for the use of intellectual property.

Income Details

  • Receipts of primary income increased $26.8 billion, to $238.7 billion.
  • Payments of primary income increased $11.9 billion, to $190.6 billion. 
  • Receipts of secondary income increased $1.4 billion, to $35.3 billion, reflecting an increase in private transfers, mostly private sector fines and penalties.
  • Payments of secondary income increased $3.7 billion, to $73.5 billion, reflecting increases in private transfers, primarily private sector fines and penalties.

US Trade Balance 

Trade Ballance 2020 Q3

Not even a strong recession helped shrink the trade deficit.

Mish