2009 Economic Calendar
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International Trade  
Released On 11/13/2009 8:30:00 AM For Sep, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Trade Balance Level$-30.7 B$-32.5 B$-34.1 B to $-29.5 B$-36.5 B

The U.S. international trade deficit in September widened significantly on higher oil imports. But the good news is that the freeze up in global trade appears to be thawing as U.S. export rose significantly. The overall U.S. trade deficit widened to $36.5 billion from a revised $30.7 billion worth of red ink in August. The shortfall was worse than the consensus projection for a $32.5 gap. Exports rose 2.9 percent while imports jumped 5.8 percent. The worsening of the trade deficit was led by a wider petroleum shortfall which came in at $20.5 billion compared to $16.6 billion the previous month. The nonpetroleum gap increased to $25.9 billion from $24.3 billion in August.

The widening in the petroleum deficit was due to both more barrels imported and higher prices. Physical barrels imported increased 6.6 percent in September after dropping 9.4 percent the month before. The price of imported oil rose to $68.17 per barrel from $64.75 in August.

Year-on-year, overall exports rose to minus 13.2 percent from minus 20.6 percent in August while imports improved to down 20.6 percent from minus 28.5 percent the previous month.

Overall, the rise in export appears to be more real than the boost in imports. Imports were up on higher oil prices, more barrels of oil, and more automotive imports from Canada. The gain in autos was to replenish auto inventories after cash-for-clunkers. Non-auto imports were up moderately. But manufacturers are benefitting from a lower dollar and healthy gains were seen in capital goods, autos, and consumer goods. While the headline numbers could weigh on the dollar, the details favor it. Equities should like the boost in exports.

Consensus Outlook
The U.S. international trade gap narrowed in August as oil imports slipped. The overall U.S. trade gap narrowed to $30.7 billion from a $31.9 billion shortfall in July. In the latest month, exports improved by 0.2 percent while imports declined 0.6 percent. The shrinking of the trade deficit was due to a narrower petroleum shortfall which came in at $16.5 billion compared to $17.8 billion the previous month.

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 48 countries and 7 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

2009 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/132/113/134/95/126/107/108/129/1010/911/1312/10
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct

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