NOTICE TO USERS OF THE CONSTANT DOLLAR (REAL) DATA SERIES
Update (June 10, 2009): Constant Dollar Series revised to 2005 base year.
The U.S. Census Bureau replaced its fixed-weighted constant dollar series with a chained-dollar series effective with the release of the April 2003 issue of the U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services (FT-900), on June 13, 2003. We are adopting this methodology to improve the quality of the constant dollar series and for consistency with other official government statistics released by the Department of Commerce.
In the January 2001 FT900 we notified users of the constant dollar series (Exhibits 10 and 11) that we were considering changing the methodology used to calculate the series and asked for comments. The comments we received indicated that most data users want a merchandise trade constant dollar (real) series that is based on the methodology used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA). The new Census constant dollar series will be based on the same methodology used by BEA; however, the merchandise trade data are a monthly series and will use monthly chaining. The NIPA are quarterly and use quarterly chaining. Users are reminded, however, that the Census constant dollar series will not match BEA's constant dollar series because of the underlying coverage differences between the current dollar NIPA and Census data.
The base year for the new constant dollar series will be 2000. Three years of chained dollar data (2000 - 2002) has been published in the 2002 annual revision report, released on June 13, 2003. Data for 1994 through 1999 is available in the tables below. A list of questions and answers explaining more about the new series and the differences between the real dollars data produced by the two methodologies is available on the Foreign Trade Division's Web site at: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www or by contacting the Special Projects Branch of the Foreign Trade Division on (301)763-3251.
Deficit: $40.6 Billion
Exports: $192.7 Billion
Imports: $233.3 Billion
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