This Morning the U.S. Census Bureau reported on November 2017 advance statistics for international trade, wholesale inventories, and retail inventories. The details of each are as follows:
Advance International Trade in Goods
The international trade deficit was $69.7 billion in November, up $1.6 billion from $68.1 billion in October. Exports of goods for November were $133.7 billion, $3.8 billion more than October exports. Imports of goods for November were $203.4 billion, $5.4 billion more than October imports.
Advance Wholesale Inventories
Wholesale inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $610.2 billion, up 0.7 percent (±0.4 percent) from October 2017, and were up 3.8 percent (±0.7 percent) from November 2016. The September 2017 to October 2017 percentage change was revised from down 0.5 percent (±0.4 percent) to down 0.4 percent (±0.4 percent)*.
Advance Retail Inventories
Retail inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $619.1 billion, up 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent)* from October 2017, and were up 1.9 percent (±0.5 percent) from November 2016. The September 2017 to October 2017 percentage change was unrevised at virtually unchanged (±0.2 percent)*.
Exhibit 1. U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services
Exhibit 2. U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services—Three-Month Moving Averages
Market Sensitivity: Medium.
What Is It: A monthly report on U.S. exports and imports of goods and services.
Most Current News Release on the Internet:www.bea.gov/newsreleases/international/trade/tradnewsrelease.htm
Home Web Address: www.bea.gov
Release Time: 8:30 a.m. (ET); data is released the second week of the month and refers to trade that occurred two months earlier.
Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce.
Revisions: Each release comes with revisions that go back several months to reflect more complete information. Changes are usually small in magnitude, though they can be sizable at times. The annual benchmark revisions normally come out in June and can span several years.
Bernard Baumohl. The Secrets of Economic Indicators
Financial-market reaction to the monthly trade data is tough to predict. Everyone recognizes the growing importance of international commerce to the U.S. economy and how flows of imports and exports can tip off investors to domestic demand, industry earnings, pricing power, and potential changes in currency values. What lessens the value of the international trade report is its late arrival. The trade balance is the last economic release by the Census Bureau each month, and it reports on activity that took place two months back. So it’s hard to get worked up when this report comes out. One factor that might provoke a sharp reaction is if the trade numbers significantly diverge from what the market or policymakers expected that month. Sudden changes in export or import flows could have implications for GDP growth estimates and the dollar, and that could startle market participants.