The US current account deficit widens in the third quarter to...

The US current account deficit widened to a 15-year high in the third quarter amid a record increase in imports as companies scramble to replace depleting inventories.

The Commerce Department said today that the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments in and out of a country, accelerated to 8.3 percent to $214.8 billion in the last quarter. This is the largest deficit since the third quarter of 2006.

The data for the second quarter was revised to show a deficit of $198.3 billion instead of $190.3 billion as previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a deficit of $205 billion in the last quarter, according to “Reuters”.

The current account gap is 3.7 percent of GDP. This is the largest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2008, and increased from 3.5 percent in the second quarter from April to June. But the deficit is still below the peak of 6.3 percent of GDP reached in the fourth quarter of 2005, with US exports now outstripping imports of crude oil and fuel.

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