September 19, 2012 - 11:27 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The amount the U.S. owes to the rest of the world, known as the current-account deficit, fell by 12% in the second quarter, primarily because of lower oil imports and higher income transfers such as U.S. earnings on investments abroad, MarketWatch reports.
The current account mainly measures whether a nation is selling more goods and services to other countries than it buys from them. It also includes certain large money flows in and out of the country.
The nation’s current-account balance fell to $117.4 in the second quarter from a downwardly revised $133.6 billion in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said.
The U.S. once again bought more goods and services from foreign countries, but the deficit in goods fell to $185.8 billion from $194.3 billion in the first quarter. The U.S. imported less oil.
In services, the U.S. ran another surplus of $46.5 billion, up from $45.9 billion in the first quarter. Services include financial advice and Hollywood movies, areas in which the U.S. still leads the world.
In the second quarter the value of foreign-owned assets in the U.S. fell by $118.7 billion after rising $59.6 billion in the first quarter. And net foreign purchases of U.S. Treasury only rose by $7.4 billion, down sharply from $43.2 billion in the prior quarter.
Foreigners increased their direct investment in U.S. to $33.5 billion from $22.2 billion.
U.S.-owned assets in foreign countries shrank by $206.8 billion in the second quarter following a $106.5 billion decline in the first quarter.