WASHINGTON — The broadest measure of U.S. foreign trade hit a record $34.7-billion deficit during the April-June quarter, confirming projections that the nation will have a record annual deficit this year, the Commerce Department said today.
The deficit in the country's current account, which includes trade in merchandise and services, climbed 2% above the $34-billion total from January through March, the previous record, the department said.
One reflection of the soaring deficit--weak industrial production--continued last month, the Federal Reserve Board reported today. The Fed said production at the nation's mines, factories and utilities rose a slight 0.1% in August, but output remained below its levels of early 1986.
Surplus in 1981
As recently as 1981, the United States enjoyed a surplus in its current account as earnings on American investments overseas, the services category, were enough to erase perennial merchandise trade deficits.