2017 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 12/5/2017 8:30:00 AM For Oct, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-43.5 B$-44.9 B$-47.4 B$-47.7 B to $-44.0 B$-48.7 B

Highlights
Fourth-quarter net exports get off to a weak start as October's trade deficit, at $48.7 billion, comes in much deeper than expected and well beyond September's revised $44.9 billion. Exports, at $195.9 billion in the month, failed to improve in the while imports, at $244.6 billion, rose a steep 1.6 percent. Price effects for oil, up more than $2 to $47.26 per barrel, are to blame for much of the rise in imports inflating costs of industrial supplies including crude where the deficit rose $1.5 billion to $10.7 billion, but consumer goods are also to blame, imports of which rose $800 million in the month to $50.0 billion.

Exports of capital goods are the largest category on the export side and they fell back $1.2 billion to $43.9 billion and reflect a $1.1 billion drop in aircraft where strength in orders, however, points to better aircraft exports to come. Exports for both vehicles, at $12.6 billion, and consumer goods, at $16.3 billion, both declined.

Country data show the monthly gap with China deepening $600 million to $35.2 billion and with Japan by $1.6 billion to $6.4 billion. The EU gap widened by $2.3 billion to $13.7 billion. The gap with Mexico rose $900 million to $6.6 billion and Canada $1.5 billion deeper at $1.8 billion.

Today's report is not favorable for fourth-quarter GDP but doesn't derail at all what has been an ongoing run of mostly solid economic results.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The international trade deficit is expected to widen sharply in October, to $47.4 billion from September's $43.5 billion in what would be a negative start for fourth-quarter net exports. The forecast is based on a sharp widening in October's trade deficit for goods where exports fell sharply and imports of consumer products jumped.

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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