International Trade Report
A government report that measures the international trade balance on a monthly basis. This report is watched for overall trends in the trade balance, and trends in both exports and imports of goods and services. The export data in particular are important to watch for indications that a strengthening competitive position at home and/or strengthening economies overseas are boosting U.S. growth. Imports provide an indication of domestic demand, but given the severe lag of this report relative to other consumption indicators, it is not particularly valuable for this purpose.
The volatility in the monthly trade balance can play an important role in GDP forecasts. Net exports are a relatively volatile component of GDP, and the trade report provides the only early clues to the net export performance each quarter.
Importance (A-F): This release merits a C+.
Source: The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce.
Release Time: 8:30 ET around the 20th of the month (data for two months prior).
Raw Data Available At: https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/press.html.