The U.S. current-account shortfall unexpectedly contracted in the three months through June. The deficit, which tracks the flow of goods, investments and services in and out of U.S., plunged to $98.51 billion compared with $102.11 billion deficit in the first three months of the year, reported the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
This was the smallest deficit since the final quarter of 2013.
Economists in a Reuters survey had expected the deficit to widen to $114.0 billion from the previous figure of $111.2 billion gap in the first quarter. A huge equity disinvestment had triggered an outflow of $121.71 billion in the first three months of the year, something the government termed as an unusual event.
However, in the second quarter, a partial reversal occurred with foreign investment inflows surging $72.01 billion.
The current-account shortfall was 2.3 percent of the gross domestic product, a slight drop from 2.4 percent in the January-March quarter. The deficit has been declining slowly, touching its lowest level in 14 years in the fourth quarter of last year, boosted partly by falling petroleum imports as the country cuts its reliance on foreign oil.
Exports rose 2.3 percent to $408.81 billion in the second quarter, while imports surged 2.8 percent to $597.97 billion.
Meanwhile, U.S. homebuilder confidence jumped near a nine-year high in September after the improving labor market unlocked demand and triggered an uptick in buyer traffic, reported the National Association of Homebuilders today.
The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumped to 59 in September, compared with 55 a month earlier. This was the strongest level since November 2005. A measure above 50 shows expansion. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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