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Implications of the U.S. current account deficit

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  • David H. Howard

Abstract

In 1988, the United States recorded a current account deficit of about $135 billion. The consensus forecast seems to be for little change in the current account in the near term. In this paper, the implications of the U.S. current account deficit and of the consequent buildup in U.S. external debt are examined. The analytical framework for thinking about the U.S. current account is first surveyed, and the results from the empirical literature on the causes of the deficits in the 1980s are then reported. The sustainability of the U.S. external position is discussed next. It is concluded that, at some point, the U.S. trade deficit has to be closed, but that it is conceivable that the U.S. current account balance could remain substantially negative. How the trade gap might be closed is addressed in the final section of the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • David H. Howard, 1989. "Implications of the U.S. current account deficit," International Finance Discussion Papers 350, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:350
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1989/350/default.htm
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/ifdp/1989/350/ifdp350.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feldstein, Martin & Horioka, Charles, 1980. "Domestic Saving and International Capital Flows," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 314-329, June.
    2. Barry J. Eichengreen, 1987. "Trade deficits in the long run," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 239-285.
    3. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ibrahim Erem Sahin & Mehmet Mucuk, 2014. "The Effect of Current Account Deficit on Economic Growth: The Case of Turkey," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0301828, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    2. Deborah J. Danker & Peter Hooper, 1990. "International financial markets and the U.S. external imbalance," International Finance Discussion Papers 372, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Danica Unevska Andonova & Branimir Jovanovic, 2011. "Sustainability of the Macedonian Current Account," Working Papers 2011-06, National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia.
    4. Owen F. Humpage, 2001. "International financial flows and the current business expansion," Policy Discussion Papers, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Apr.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Balance of trade ; Debts; External;

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