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Current Account Fact and Fiction

  • David Backus


    (Economics New York University, Stern School of Business)

  • Espen Henriksen
  • Frederic Lambert
  • Chris Telmer

With US trade and current account deficits approaching 6% of GDP, some have argued that the country is "on the comfortable path to ruin" and that the required "adjustment'' may be painful. We suggest instead that things are fine: although national saving is low, the ratios of household and consolidated net worth to GDP remain high. In our view, the most striking features of the world at present are the low rates of investment and growth in some of the richest countries, whose surpluses account for about half of the US deficit. The result is that financial capital is flowing out of countries with low investment and growth and into the US and other fast-growing countries. Oil exporters account for much of the rest.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 115.

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Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:115
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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