WASHINGTON — The U.S. current account deficit increased to $124.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.The increase comes after a third-quarter deficit of $107.6 billion, revised downward from the originally reported figure of $110.3 billion.

The deficit was greater than the median estimate of a $114.2 billion deficit seen by economists polled by Thompson Reuters, and was the largest since the fourth quarter of 2008, when it was $151.0 billion, the department said.

The fourth-quarter deficit represented 3.24% of gross domestic product, up from 2.84% the previous quarter.

The fourth-quarter deficit increase partly reflected a rising deficit on goods and services, which climbed to $141.1 billion from a third-quarter figure of $134.7 billion, according to Commerce.

In 2011, the U.S. had a $473.4 billion current account deficit, up from $470.9 billion in 2010.

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