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On June 9, 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released two reports: “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services: April 2011” and “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services: Annual Revision for 2010.” With these reports, statistics on trade in goods on a Census basis will be revised beginning with 2008, and statistics on trade in goods on a balance of payments (BOP) basis and on trade in services will be revised beginning with 1999. The revised statistics on goods and services will also be included in the annual revision of the U.S. international transactions accounts (ITAs), which BEA will release on June 16, 2011.
The annual revision has not changed the overall trend in the goods and services balance. On an annual basis, the goods and services deficit was revised less than 1 percent for nearly all years; the exception was 2009, when it was revised up 1.7 percent. For 2010, the goods and services deficit was revised up $4.3 billion, or 0.9 percent. The goods deficit was revised down for all years; the services surplus was revised up for 1999-2007 and down for 2008-2010.
The 2010 not seasonally adjusted Census-basis goods statistics were revised to redistribute monthly data that arrived too late for inclusion in the month of transaction but that were included, initially, in the month in which the data were received. In addition, corrections were made to previously published 2010 statistics. Seasonal and trading-day adjustments were then recalculated, and the seasonally adjusted current-dollar series were revised beginning with 2008. The chain-weighted dollar series were also revised beginning with statistics for 2008.
Balance of payments (BOP) adjustments – adjustments that BEA applies to Census-basis goods exports and imports to convert them to a BOP basis – were revised beginning with statistics for 1999. These adjustments are combined and presented as “Net Adjustments” in this report. Adjustments to low-value exports and imports were introduced for 1999-2006 and were revised for 2007-2009. BOP adjustments for goods procured in ports were revised for exports beginning with statistics for 2007 and for imports beginning with statistics for 2004. BOP adjustments that exhibit significant seasonal patterns are now seasonally adjusted for both exports and imports beginning with statistics for 1999.
Beginning with statistics for 1999, the following items were reclassified within the services accounts: fees for the rights to distribute film and television recordings from other private services to royalties and license fees; postal services from U.S. government miscellaneous services to other transportation; and cruise fares from passenger fares to travel (because cruise fares cover onboard expenditures for goods and services similar to land travel). These reclassifications are part of a multiyear effort to align the ITAs with the most recent international guidelines for international economic accounts. Information about BEA’s 2011 annual revision of the ITAs and plans for implementing the new international standards were presented in the May 2011 issue of the Survey of Current Business.
Services exports were also revised because BEA has (1) adopted a new method for measuring expenditures in the United States of foreign residents who are working in the United States for less than one year and (2) excluded expenditures of foreign nationals who are working for international organizations located in the United States to more closely align with international guidelines. Both of these changes resulted in revisions beginning with statistics for 1999. Services imports were also revised because BEA has implemented a new method for measuring non-fuel expenditures of U.S. air carriers in foreign ports beginning with statistics for 2004.
In addition to the changes described above, services exports and imports were revised to incorporate updated source data, including newly available data from BEA’s quarterly services surveys beginning with statistics for 2008 and initial results of BEA’s benchmark survey of international financial services transactions beginning with statistics for 2007.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Data Dissemination Branch office on 1-800-549-0595, option 4, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Deficit: $40.5 Billion
Exports: $198.0 Billion
Imports: $238.6 Billion
Next release: October 3, 2014
Complete Release Schedule
Collection of videos to enhance export training.