2014 Economic Calendar
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International Trade
Released On 1/7/2014 8:30:00 AM For Nov, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-40.6 B$-39.3 B$-39.9 B$-42.5 B to $-38.9 B$-34.3 B

Highlights
Exports rose and imports fell making for a sharply narrower-than-expected trade deficit of $34.3 billion in November vs the Econoday consensus for $39.9 billion. This is the lowest monthly deficit since October 2009. More good news comes from the revision to October where the gap narrowed to $39.3 billion vs the initial estimate for $40.6 billion.

The goods gap narrowed by $4.9 billion in November, to $53.9 billion vs $58.8 billion, at the same time that the services surplus widened slightly, to $19.7 billion vs $19.5 billion.

Much of the improvement in the goods gap, about $4.3 billion, was due to a smaller petroleum gap, at $15.2 billion vs October's $19.5 billion. This reflects both a monthly dip in oil prices but also a dip in volume as domestic crude production is on the rise.

Exports rose 0.9 percent in November to $194.9 billion led by higher exports for industrial supplies, commercial aircraft, and capital goods excluding autos. Imports fell 1.4 percent with contraction in industrial supplies, which includes the decline in crude oil, as well as declines in foods/feeds/beverages and consumer goods.

By country, trade gaps narrowed with Europe, to $10.1 billion from $14.3 billion, and with China, to $26.9 billion vs October's $28.9 billion. Gaps also narrowed with Canada and Japan.

Today's report adds to the recent run of mostly strong economic data and will raise estimates for fourth-quarter GDP.

Market Consensus before announcement
The U.S. international trade gap improved in October and for the right reason-exports were up. The October trade gap narrowed to $40.6 billion from $43.0 billion in September. Exports rebounded 1.8 percent after slipping 0.1 percent in September. Imports rose 0.4 percent in October, following a 1.6 percent increase the month before. The shrinking of the trade shortfall was led by goods excluding petroleum which narrowed to $39.3 billion from $41.8 billion in September. The petroleum deficit nudged down to $19.6 billion from $19.9 billion in September. The services surplus improved to $19.6 billion from $19.4 billion.

Definition
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 36 countries and 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
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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
 

 

2014 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/72/63/74/35/66/47/38/69/410/311/412/5
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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