Ahead of the Bell: US current account

US current account deficit likely increased slightly in April-June quarter

Associated Press
US current account deficit dips to $98.5 billion
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In this Friday, May 16, 2014 photo, a Maersk Line vessel is guided by a tugboat as it heads into the Port of Miami off of Miami Beach, Fla. The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the April-June quarter on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the April-June quarter. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

WIDER DEFICIT: The expectation is that the deficit widened to $113.8 billion in the second quarter, up 2.3 percent from the first quarter, according to a survey of economists by data firm Fact Set.

TRADE GAINS: The current account is the broadest measure of trade. It covers not only goods and services but also investment flows between countries.

In the January-March quarter, a drop in exports and lower incomes from overseas investment drove the deficit to $111.2 billion, its highest level in 18 months.

The current account is still relatively low by historical standards. The quarterly deficits regularly topped $150 billion in the four years before the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Two U.S. has benefited from a boom in oil and gas production, mostly because new drilling technologies have made it feasible to drill for oil and gas in states such as North Dakota, New York and Pennsylvania.

That has pushed down the trade deficit by boosting petroleum exports and also reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

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