The gap, the broadest measure of international trade because it includes income payments and government transfers, widened to $119.3 billion from a $112.2 billion shortfall in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Economists forecast a $130 billion deficit, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.
Surging oil costs that boosted imports at the beginning of 2011 helped widen the current account deficit. Growing demand for U.S. Treasury securities drove the yield on the benchmark 10-year note below 3 percent this week, a sign foreign investors are not dissuaded from investing in American assets even as the national budget deficit is projected to reach $1.4 trillion.
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