2014 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 10/3/2014 8:30:00 AM For Aug, 2014
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-40.5 B$-40.3 B$-40.6 B$-42.0 B to $-39.0 B$-40.1 B

Lower oil prices helped the trade gap shrink in August. The trade deficit in August narrowed to $40.1 billion from $40.3 billion in July.

Exports advanced 0.2 percent in August, following a 0.9 percent jump in July. Imports edged up 0.1 percent, following a 0.6 percent gain in July.

The petroleum balance shrank to $13.1 billion from $14.5 billion in July. The services surplus expanded to $19.8 billion from $19.5 billion. However, the goods excluding petroleum gap increased to $45.1 billion from $44.3 billion in July.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the August numbers showed surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong $2.8 ($2.1 for July), Australia $1.4 ($1.6), Singapore $1.0 ($0.9), and Brazil $1.0 ($0.5), among others. Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China $30.2 ($30.9), European Union $11.0 ($13.2), Germany $7.1 ($6.4), Japan $4.7 ($6.2), OPEC $3.2 ($6.2), and Canada $2.3 ($3.0) , among others.

Overall, the August report is favorable. Lower oil prices mean more discretionary income for consumers. Demand is moving forward with non-oil imports up.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The U.S. international trade gap in July shrank marginally to $40.5 billion from $40.8 billion in June. Exports rose 0.9 percent in July after no change the month before. Imports gained 0.7 percent, following a 1.1 percent drop in June. The goods excluding petroleum gap decreased to $44.7 billion from $45.0 billion in June. Also the petroleum balance contracted to $14.5 billion in July from $14.7 billion the prior month. The services surplus was essentially unchanged at $19.6 billion. Import news can at times provide insight into domestic demand. This appears to be the case with July data. Domestic demand may be stronger than earlier believed. According to the Commerce Department, the July gap with China was a record. This could suggest an improvement in business sentiment for U.S. consumer demand in coming months-notably the holiday season.

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
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
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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