Current Account Shrinks in Fourth Quarter

The U.S. current account deficit unexpectedly fell in the fourth quarter, hitting its lowest level in more than a year, as an increase in the primary income surplus offset a soybean-driven drop in exports.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the current account deficit, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments into and out of the country, fell 3.1 percent to $112.4 billion, the lowest since the second quarter of 2015.

The current account deficit for the third quarter was revised up to $116.0 billion from the previously reported $113.0 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the deficit rising to $128.2 billion in the fourth quarter.

The fourth-quarter current account deficit represented 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, down from 2.5 percent in the third quarter. For all of 2016 the current account deficit totaled $481.2 billion, a 3.9 percent increase from 2015.

That represented 2.6 percent

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