US Current Account Deficit Falls in Q1 2020 Due to Coronavirus-led Lockdown

US Current Account Deficit Falls in Q1 2020 Due to Coronavirus-led Lockdown

Posted Monday, June 22, 2020 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

The current account deficit in the US has fallen to the lowest levels seen in almost two years during Q1 2020 amid the global coronavirus crisis and the ensuing lockdowns. According to data released by the Commerce Department, US’s current account deficit fell by 0.1% to $104.2 billion, the smallest amount since Q2 2018.

Economists had forecast a sightly lower trade deficit for the period, at $103 billion instead. Meanwhile, the current account deficit for Q4 2019 was also revised lower, from $109.8 billion to $104.3 billion. The gap in the current account works out to around 1.9% of US’s GDP – the least contribution seen since 2017.

According to the department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, the fall in the current account deficit was driven “in part, due to the impact of COVID-19, as many businesses were operating at limited capacity or ceased operations completely, and the movement of travelers across borders was restricted.”

During Q1 2020, exports goods and services as well as income from foreign residents reduced by $47.5 billion to touch $902.3 billion – the sharpest fall in 11 years. With exports falling to even lower levels in April when most countries around the world remained in a state of lockdown, economists expect the current account deficit to soar to as high as $120 billion during Q2 2020.

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