2018 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 7/6/2018 8:30:00 AM For May, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-46.2 B$-46.1 B$-43.7 B$-50.5 B to $-42.7 B$-43.1 B

Highlights
The nation's trade gap narrowed sharply in May, to $43.1 billion from a revised $46.1 billion in April. Exports jumped 1.9 percent to $215.3 billion to well exceed a 0.4 percent rise in imports which totaled $258.4 billion.

Exports of goods, as indicated in last week's advance report, were strong, up 2.6 percent to $144.9 billion with imports up 0.5 percent to $210.7 billion. Exports of capital goods including aircraft showed special strength as did exports of food. Exports of services rose 0.6 percent to $70.4 billion with imports of services down 0.1 percent to $47.7 billion.

China's trade surplus with the United States was $33.2 billion in May and $152.2 billion year-to-date, up 13.5 percent from the same period last year.

Today's report is very positive for the economy showing strong demand for exports in what will be a positive for second-quarter GDP. It also underscores the strength of cross-border trade going into what appears to be a period reciprocal tariff actions.

Consensus Outlook
The international trade deficit for goods and services is expected to narrow sharply in May to $43.7 billion in line with major improvement in advance data on the goods side of the report. The advance data showed a very strong 2.1 percent rise for exports against only a 0.2 percent gain for imports. Tariff effects have so far been limited in this report.

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 nation's international trade balance has been in continuous deficit since the 1980s. Yet trade, even though in deficit, can still add to GDP provided the deficit is narrowing. A deepening deficit is a negative for GDP.
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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