2018 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 3/7/2018 8:30:00 AM For Jan, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-53.1 B$-53.9 B$-55.1 B$-56.1 B to $-52.8 B$-56.6 B

Highlights
The nation's trade deficit widened sharply in January, to $56.6 billion which is beyond Econoday's deepest estimate and marks a negative start to first-quarter net exports.

Imports, at $257.5 billion, were unchanged in the month but not exports which fell a sharp 1.3 percent to $200.9 billion. Exports of services were steady at $66.7 billion while exports of goods fell 2.2 percent to $134.2 billion. And here to blame are industrial supplies, which includes primary metals, down $1.3 billion to $41.5 billion and also capital goods, a central focus of U.S. strength that fell $2.6 billion to $44.9 billion and includes a $1.8 billion decline in civilian aircraft exports to $3.8 billion.

Imports show a $2 billion rise in industrial supplies to $47.3 billion and a welcome $0.9 billion decline in consumer goods to $54.6 billion. Petroleum imports rose $2.2 billion to $13.2 billion reflecting both higher volumes and higher prices.

Exports are going to have to pick up in February and March otherwise first-quarter GDP will be fighting uphill against an accelerating trade deficit.

Consensus Outlook
The international trade deficit is expected to widen in January to $55.1 billion from February's already steep deficit of $53.1 billion. Advance data on the goods portion of this report showed sharp deepening with a 2.2 percent February drop in exports.

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 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
 
[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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/52/63/74/55/36/67/68/39/510/511/212/6
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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