From the Document: "On July 17, 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published its annual report on global trade that identifies countries with 'excessive' current account balances--both surpluses and deficits--and exchange rates that are 'misaligned.' The current account is a broad measure of a country's global economic engagement and is comprised of trade in goods, services, and official flows. [...] The IMF report indicates that 35% to 45% of countries had balances that were 'excessive,' and that balances of about 3.0% of world gross domestic product (GDP)--both surpluses and deficits--remained relatively constant in 2018. Advanced economies, particularly the United States and the United Kingdom, account for the largest share of negative balances, or deficits, while China's positive current account and exchange rate were deemed to be in line with fundamentals. Other trade specialists argue that extensive cross-border capital flows have reduced the usefulness of the current account as a monitoring device and that policy prescriptions based on current account balances--and trade balances as the largest component of the current account--may be counterproductive."
CRS Insight, IN11157
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/