International Trade
Released on 12/14/04 For Oct 2004
Trade Balance
Consensus $ -53.5 B
Actual $ -55.5 B
2004 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/14 2/13 3/10 4/14 5/12 6/14 7/13 8/13 9/10 10/14 11/10 12/14
Released For: Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Definition
The international trade balance measures the difference between imports and exports of both tangible goods and services. Imports may act as a drag on domestic growth and they may also increase competitive pressures on domestic producers. Exports boost domestic production.
Why Do Investors Care?
Changes in the level of imports and exports, along with the difference between the two (the trade balance) are a valuable gauge of economic trends here and abroad. Furthermore, the data can directly impact all the financial markets, but especially the foreign exchange value of the dollar.

Imports indicate demand for foreign goods and services here in the U.S. Exports show the demand for U.S. goods in overseas countries. The dollar can be particularly sensitive to changes in the chronic trade deficit run by the United States, since this trade imbalance creates greater demand for foreign currencies. The bond market is also sensitive to the risk of importing inflation. This report gives a breakdown of U.S. trade with major countries as well, so it can be instructive for investors who are interested in diversifying globally. For example, a trend of accelerating exports to a particular country might signal economic strength and investment opportunities in that country.

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