2013 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 9/4/2013 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-34.2 B$-34.5 B$-39.0 B$-42.5 B to $-35.0 B$-39.1 B

The trade deficit worsened in July but remained relatively low after an especially good June number. The trade gap widened to $39.1 billion from $34.4 billion in June (originally $34.2 billion). Expectations were for a $39.0 billion gap. Exports dipped 0.6 percent, following a 2.2 percent gain in June. Imports rose 1.6 percent in July after a 2.2 percent decline the month before.

The worsening in the trade gap was primarily due to the nonpetroleum goods deficit which grew to $38.7 billion in July from $35.0 billion in June. The petroleum deficit increased to $18.7 billion from $17.5 billion in June. The services surplus slipped to $19.4 billion from $19.5 billion.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the July figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong $2.9 ($3.4 for June), Brazil $1.7 ($1.6), Australia $1.5 ($1.7), and Singapore $0.6 ($1.2).

Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China $30.1 ($26.6), European Union $13.9 ($7.1), OPEC $7.4 ($5.8), Japan $6.8 ($5.5), Germany $6.4 ($4.9), Mexico $4.1 ($4.8), Saudi Arabia $3.3 ($3.0), and Canada $2.8 ($1.8), among others.

The trade deficit remains relatively low partly due to sluggish import demand. Exports also are soft due to modest global growth. Taking into account averages, it appears that U.S. businesses still are not hugely optimistic about demand.

Consensus Outlook
The U.S. international trade gap, due to a drop in imports together with a rise in exports, made for a surprisingly narrow trade gap in June, at minus $34.2 billion versus a revised minus $44.1 billion in May. This was the lowest trade gap in more than 4 years. About two thirds of the improvement came from non-oil goods. The improvement in the trade gap was primarily due to the nonpetroleum goods deficit which shrank to $34.4 billion in June from $41.3 billion the prior month. The petroleum deficit narrowed to $17.4 billion from $20.8 billion in May. The services surplus improved to $18.9 billion from $18.8 billion. Though the drop in imports may be good for the trade balance, it does pose a negative signal for domestic demand. Imports of consumer goods showed the steepest drop followed by industrial supplies. But the rise in exports is a clearly positive signal, led by gains for industrial supplies and including strong gains for capital goods, boosted by aircraft, and also gains for consumer goods.

International trade is composed of merchandise (tangible goods) and services. It is available nationally by export, import and trade balance. Merchandise trade is available by export, import and trade balance for six principal end-use commodity categories and for more than one hundred principal Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) system commodity groupings. Data are also available for 48 countries and 7 geographic regions. Detailed information is reported on oil and motor vehicle imports. Services trade is available by export, import and trade balance for seven principal end-use categories.  Why Investors Care
Exports grow when foreign economies are strong. The weaker the foreign exchange value of the dollar, the less expensive goods and services are to foreigners, and this also helps spurt export activity. Imports grow when U.S. economic growth is robust. Imports are also spurred by a strong foreign exchange value of the dollar.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
The international trade balance has posted a deficit almost continuously since the 1980s. Any trade deficit is a drag on U.S. GDP growth, but a smaller deficit adds to growth, while a larger deficit decreases GDP growth.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/112/83/74/55/26/47/38/69/410/2411/1412/4
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