Trade deficit falls for second straight quarter

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The Commerce Department is reporting today that the account trade deficit fell 5.5 percent to $178.5 billion during the third quarter – that’s the lowest level in two years and a possible indicator that the nation’s trade issues could be calming.

The current account is the most comprehensive measure of trade because it includes not only trade in products and services but also investment flows between countries.

The deficit had set all-time high records for five consecutive years but has declined for two consecutive quarters.

The decline in the current account deficit left it a 5.1 percent of the country’s total economic output, down from 5.5 percent from the second quarter.

That was the lowest level in terms of the gross domestic product since the first quarter of 2004.