U.S. current account deficit jumps to 12-year high in 2020

FILE PHOTO: Dozens of container ships sit off the coast of Long Beach waiting to unload their cargo at the Port of Los Angeles in California, U.S., February 25, 2021. REUTERS/Mike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. current account deficit raced to a 12-year high in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the flow of goods and services.

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, surged 34.8% to $647.2 billion last year. That was the largest shortfall since 2008.

The current account gap represented 3.1% of gross domestic product last year, also the largest share since 2008 and up from 2.2% in 2019.

Exports of goods and services to, and income received from foreign residents dropped $578.3 billion to $3.23 trillion in 2020. Imports of goods and services from, and income paid to, foreign residents fell $411.3 billion, to $3.87 trillion.

The trade deficit jumped to $681.7 billion in 2020 from $576.9 billion in 2019.

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