U.S. International Trade deficit decreased in March 2014

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By: Jason Jindrich

In March, the Nation’s international trade deficit in goods and services decreased $1.5 billion to $40.4 billion as exports increased more than imports, led by increases in exports of capital goods ($2.1 billion). Among the highlights, March was a record month for exports of services ($58.8 billion) and of non-petroleum exports ($122.7 billion). In addition, March saw record exports to Canada ($27.2 billion), South Korea ($4.4 billion), and to the CAFTA-DR ($2.9 billion). Increases in imports led to a record month for foods, feeds, and beverages ($10.6 billion) and non-petroleum imports ($163.3 billion).

Changes Coming Next Month

Exhibit 20: The “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services: April 2014” will be the first to include a new tabulation (Exhibit 20) presenting quarterly seasonally adjusted trade in goods and services on a balance of payments basis for select major trading partners. An example of the Exhibit 20 template is available here.

Reclassification of Goods to a BOP Basis: Net exports of goods under merchanting (net exports that reflect goods purchased and sold abroad without entering the United States and so are not accounted for by U.S. Customs), which are currently included as trade in services under other private services, will be reclassified as goods through a new balance of payments adjustment.

Changes to Services: The number of service categories in Exhibits 3 and 4 will change and increase from seven to nine. The new categories will be: maintenance and repair services; transport; travel (for all purposes including education); insurance services; financial services; charges for the use of intellectual property; telecommunications, computer, and information services; other business services; government goods and services.

Revisions to Goods and Services: On June 4, 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services: Annual Revision for 2013”, reflecting corrections and adjustments to trade in goods on a Census basis beginning with 2011, and statistics calculated on a balance of payments basis beginning with 1999.

More detailed information about these last three changes is available here.

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