Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit Rises to Five-Year High

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

U.S. Merchandise Trade Deficit Rises to Five-Year High

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The broadest measure of the U.S. trade deficit jumped by $42.84 billion in 1993 to the highest level in five years, including a $31.54 billion imbalance in the final three months, the government said Tuesday.

The Commerce Department said the 1993 shortfall in the U.S. current account totaled $109.24 billion, the largest gap since a $127.2 billion deficit in 1988. An increase in the merchandise trade deficit accounted for most of the increase.

The October-December imbalance was the biggest since the deficit totaled $33.0 billion in the final three months of 1988.

A decrease in the surplus on services, a shift to a deficit on investment income and larger net unilateral transfers more than offset a decrease in the deficit on merchandise trade in the fourth quarter. Unilateral transfers include U.S. foreign aid payments.

The current account is considered the broadest measure of America's trade competitiveness because it tracks not only trade in merchandise but also trade in services and investment flows between the United States and other nations.

After peaking at $167.3 billion in 1987, the deficit fell steadily each year until 1991, when it dropped to $8.3 billion, in part because of allied reimbursement of U. …

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