2017 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 6/2/2017 8:30:00 AM For Apr, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-43.7 B$-45.3 B$-46.1 B$-47.0 B to $-42.9 B$-47.6 B

Highlights
The bad news is accelerating for the second quarter. The trade deficit widened in April to $47.6 billion from a revised $45.3 billion in March. This opens the quarter on yet another defensive front.

Exports fell 0.3 percent in April to $191.0 billion as a fractional rise in service exports to $64.0 billion could not outmatch a 0.4 percent decline in goods exports to $126.9 billion.

Imports meanwhile jumped 0.8 percent to $238.6 billion with increasing pressure centered in goods but also including services.

The best positive in the details is a rise in aircraft exports and the worst negative is yet another jump in consumer goods imports, up $2.0 billion in the month to $51.0 billion. Country data show a sharp widening with China, to a $27.6 billion total gap in the month, with the EU gap also up sharply to $14.6 billion.

The conclusion? U.S. demand for foreign products is strong and foreign demand for U.S. products is not.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Forecasters see the international trade gap for goods and services widening sharply to a consensus $46.1 billion in April from $43.7 billion in March. This would be an early negative for second-quarter GDP. The consensus is in line with advance data on the cross-border goods deficit which, reflecting weak exports, widened noticeably. Any surprises in April's report could affect expectations for second-quarter GDP.

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
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/62/73/74/45/46/27/68/49/610/511/312/5
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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