Current Account

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Definition of 'Current Account'

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) at the United States Department of Commerce release the Current Account figures in the middle of the third month of the quarter following the quarter to which the data references. For example, the first quarter data is release in June.

In economics, the current account, is one of the two primary components of the balance of payments, the other being the capital account. It is the sum of the balance of trade (exports minus imports of goods and services), net factor income (such as interest and dividends) and net transfer payments (such as foreign aid).

The current account balance is one of two major measures of the nature of a country's foreign trade (the other being the net capital outflow). A current account surplus increases a country's net foreign assets by the corresponding amount, and a current account deficit does the reverse. Both government and private payments are included in the calculation. It is called the current account because goods and services are generally consumed in the current period.

In trading, the current account has an impact on the foreign exchange (forex) value of the dollar. A chronic trade deficit in the United States will increase the demand for foreign currencies and weaken the dollar.

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