Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Citing BEA Information | ID: 53 | Created: Dec-05-2005
Answer

What are the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services and on the U.S. International Transactions Accounts?

The economic effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are reflected in the source data underlying the joint BEA/Census Bureau release, U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services. However, source data providers generally cannot isolate those effects and BEA cannot determine the effects of the hurricanes on any aggregate measure in the release. The hurricanes caused a temporary loss of petroleum production and refining capacity and other disruptions that affected the value of oil and other commodities that are traded internationally by the United States. These events affected U.S. trade in goods beginning with data for August 2005. The hurricanes also increased insurance and reinsurance losses recovered from foreign insurance companies, but the impact on international trade in insurance services was small (click here for more information).

The U.S. International Transactions Accounts (ITAs) reflect the effects of the hurricanes on trade in goods and services, on insurance losses recovered, on income payments, and on financial flows related to earnings of foreign-owned companies located in the Gulf region. However, providers of the source data used for these accounts generally cannot isolate those effects. Losses recovered from foreign insurance companies are reflected in the capital account in the period in which the hurricanes occurred. BEA cannot determine the effects of the hurricanes on any other aggregate measure in the ITAs.

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