WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit in the nation's broadest measure of trade increased in the January-March quarter to the highest level in more than seven years.
The Commerce Department says the current account trade deficit jumped 9.9 percent in the first quarter to $124.7 billion. It was the biggest gap since a deficit of $152.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, the height of the financial crisis.
The higher deficit reflected a $9.6 billion decline in the surplus on investment earnings. That offset a $2 billion decrease in the deficit on merchandise trade and an increase of $400 million in the surplus on services.
The current account is the broadest measure of trade because it covers not only trade in goods but also services and investment flows.