U.S. current account trade deficit narrows
Broad current account tracks sales between nations as well as investment flows.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. current account trade deficit narrowed in the July-September quarter to the smallest level since late 2010, but the improvement may not last.
The deficit fell to $107.5 billion in the third quarter, down 9 percent from the second quarter imbalance of $118.1 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. It was the lowest trade gap since the final three months of 2010.
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 the deficit will widen in coming quarters, in part because a global slowdown is dampening demand for American exports.
On Wall Street on Tuesday, stocks climbed, pushing the Standard and Poor’s 500 to its highest level in two months, on optimism that lawmakers are closing in on a budget deal that will stop the U.S. from going over the “fiscal cliff” at the beginning of next year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 115 points to 13,350, its biggest one-day gain in almost a month. The Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 16 points to 1,446, its highest close since Oct. 18. The Nasdaq composite rose 43 points to 3,054.
A debt crisis has pushed