WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government reports on the U.S. current account trade deficit for the July-September quarter. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday.
DEFICIT UP SLIGHTLY: Economists forecast that the deficit rose 1.2 percent to $100.6 billion in the third quarter, according to a survey by FactSet. That would be up from a $98.9 billion deficit in the April-June quarter.
NARROWING DEFICIT: The current account declined in the April-June quarter to the lowest point since the third quarter of 2009. The improvement was due to a drop in the deficit for goods and increases in the surpluses in services and investment income.
TRADE SUPPORT: The current account is the country's broadest measure of trade. It tracks not only the sale of goods and services but also investment flows.
A smaller trade deficit usually means that U.S. companies are producing more to meet domestic and overseas demand.
The monthly trade deficit, which covers merchandise and services, narrowed in October, reflecting in part a boom in energy production in America that has lifted overall energy exports to an all-time high.
The U.S. is benefiting from an energy revival, which has lessened the country's dependence on foreign oil.
The overall economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the July-September quarter. Much of that strength came from a buildup in business stockpiles.
Companies could slow their inventory growth in the October-December quarter if they don't see enough demand from consumers. That would weigh on overall economic growth.
Many economists are predicting growth will slow to an annual rate of between 2 percent and 2.5 percent.
Still, a recent government report showed restocking rose in October at the fastest pace in nine months. At the same time, consumers stepped up spending at retail businesses in November. If those trends continue, growth could be stronger.
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