Mar 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

Trump more than doubled the U.S. current account deficit

Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. current account deficit, the difference between what goods, services and investments Americans are buying from other countries versus what they are selling, jumped to $188.5 billion in the fourth quarter.

Why it matters: That was the largest shortfall since 2007.

Keeping score: Former President Trump cited the large U.S. current account deficit as a primary justification for the trade war with China.

  • The deficit more than doubled from $83.9 billion when Trump took office in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Even prior to the pandemic, the current account deficit had risen notably, touching $114.6 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
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