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Economic Indicator US Trade Balance – Current and Historical Data

Current Trade Balance: $-40.3 Billion.

Next Release: Wednesday, July 03, 12:30 GMT (Released Monthly, about 35 days after the reporting month ends.)

Economists Expect: -$40.8 Billion.

Source of Report: Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Release URL: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html

 

Upcoming Release Commentary:

The U.S. trade deficit increased to $40.3 billion in April from $37.1 billion in March, due to larger imports. The consensus projection was for a deficit of $41.2 billion.  The rise in international trade gap was largely due to the non-petroleum goods deficit which worsened to $37.8 billion in April from $33.7 billion the month before. Imports rose 2.4 percent after declining 3.7 percent in March, while exports rebounded 1.2 percent after decreasing 1.0 percent the month before.

For May, the trade gap is expected to widen to $40.8 billion. We are likely to see another up tick in imports, following last months gain. Exports were likely unchanged, with little signs of any further increase in global demand for US exports.

U.S. Trade Balance Historical Overview:

Historically, from 1992 until 2013, the United States Trade Balance averaged a deficit equivalent to 31979.53 million USD, reaching the best deficit at 831.00 million USD in February 1992, and the worst deficit at 67351.00 million USD in August 2006.

united-states-balance-of-trade

united-states-imports

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Market Impact (pip movement in EUR/USD within 1,5,15, and 30 mins of release)

Trade Balance Market Activity

 

Market Impact Scenarios:

Trade balance data has the tendency to generate some volatility for the USD. Since the United States has been running consistent trade deficits, traders generally focus on the percentage change in the deficit. A decrease in deficit will cause the US dollar to rally, while a widening deficit will lead to a potential fall in the value of the greenback. Interestingly, a strong foreign exchange value of the dollar makes imports cheaper, while, weaker the dollar is compared to other currencies, the less expensive goods and services are to foreigners, helping spurt export activity.

Understanding Trade Balance:

Trade balance is the monetary difference between the value of imports and exports over the reported period of time. The headline trade balance figure is expressed in billions of dollars. Despite the data being severely lagged compared to other consumption indicators, traders closely watch the monthly trade balance figures to get early clues about any revision in GDP forecasts.

The United States is the world’s largest importer, but is not a leading exporter. Since 1980, the country has been running consistent trade deficits due to high imports of oil and consumer products. In recent years, U.S. has been running huge trade deficits with China. The U.S. mainly imports consumer electronics goods, clothing and machinery from China.

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