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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

  • Importance (A-F): This release merits a C+.
  • Source: The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce.
  • Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 20th of the month (data for two months prior).
  • Raw Data Available At: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html

The trade report is most widely watched for trends in the overall trade balance. But trends in both exports and imports of goods and services bear watching as well. The export data in particular are important to watch for indications that a strengthening competitive position at home and/or strengthening economies overseas are boosting U.S. growth. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but given the severe lag of this report relative to other consumption indicators, it is not particularly valuable for this purpose.

The volatility in the monthly trade balance can play an important role in GDP forecasts. Net exports are a relatively volatile component of GDP, and the trade report provides the only early clues to the net export performance each quarter.



U.S. KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS
Auto and Truck Sales
Business Inventories
Chicago PMI
Conference Board Consumer Confidence
Construction Spending
Consumer Credit
CPI: Consumer Price Index
Durable Goods Orders
Employment Cost Index
Existing Home Sales
Export/Import Prices
Factory Orders
GDP: Gross Domestic Product
Housing Starts and Building Permits
Industrial Production
Initial Claims
International Trade
Leading Indicators
Money Supply
NAPM: National Association of Purchasing Managers
New Home Sales
Non-Manufacturing NAPM
Personal Income and Consumption
Philadelphia Fed Index
PPI: Producer Price Index
Productivity and Costs
Regional Manufacturing Surveys
Retail Sales
The Employment Report
Treasury Budget
University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
Weekly Chain Store Sales
Wholesale Trade
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