The current account deficit widened as expected in the third quarter to $108 billion, largely driven by a big trade shortfall, a Commerce Department report showed on Wednesday.

The deficit rose from a downwardly revised $98 billion in the second quarter and was in line with analysts' forecasts for a third quarter shortfall of $108 billion.

The third-quarter deficit equaled 3 percent of gross domestic product, up from 2.8 percent in the April-June period, a Commerce Department official said.

The current account is the broadest measure of total U.S. trade with the rest of the world, covering goods, services and income transfers.

U.S. exports and imports both rose in the July-September quarter, a sign that world trade is recovering after being hampered by last year's global financial crisis.

Goods exports rose to $263.9 billion from $246.1 billion in the previous three months, while imports jumped to $396.1 billion from $361.6 billion.

The department said it had revised selected historical data for international transactions from the first quarter of 1970 following changes in the way it records allocations of International Monetary Fund Special Drawing Rights to the country. SDRs are now recorded as transactions in financial account.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)