Home > News Release: U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, December 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009
CB09-23
BEA09-04
FT-900 (08-12)



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U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
NEWS
U.S. Department of Commerce * Washington, DC 20230

U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN GOODS AND SERVICES
December 2008

 

Goods and Services

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the
Department of Commerce, announced today that total December exports of $133.8
billion and imports of $173.7 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of
$39.9 billion, down from $41.6 billion in November, revised. December exports were
$8.5 billion less than November exports of $142.3 billion. December imports were
$10.2 billion less than November imports of $183.9 billion.

In December, the goods deficit decreased $1.7 billion from November to $51.6 billion,
and the services surplus decreased $0.1 billion to $11.6 billion. Exports of goods
decreased $8.3 billion to $88.7 billion, and imports of goods decreased $10.0 billion
to $140.3 billion. Exports of services decreased $0.2 billion to $45.1 billion, and
imports of services decreased $0.1 billion to $33.4 billion.

In December 2008, the goods and services deficit decreased $17.6 billion from December
2007. Exports were down $12.3 billion, or 8.4 percent, and imports were down $30.0
billion, or 14.7 percent.

Goods

The November to December change in exports of goods reflected decreases in industrial
supplies and materials ($4.6 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines
($1.3 billion); consumer goods ($0.8 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.7 billion);
capital goods ($0.5 billion); and other goods ($0.5 billion).

The November to December change in imports of goods reflected decreases in industrial
supplies and materials ($5.6 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines
($1.5 billion); capital goods ($1.5 billion); consumer goods ($0.5 billion); other
goods ($0.3 billion); and foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.2 billion).

The December 2007 to December 2008 change in exports of goods reflected decreases in
industrial supplies and materials ($6.0 billion); capital goods ($3.4 billion);
automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($2.4 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages
($1.1 billion); and consumer goods ($0.5 billion). An increase occurred in other
goods ($0.1 billion).

The December 2007 to December 2008 change in imports of goods reflected decreases in
industrial supplies and materials ($17.4 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and
engines ($5.8 billion); capital goods ($4.1 billion); consumer goods ($3.3 billion);
and other goods ($0.2 billion). An increase occurred in foods, feeds, and beverages
($0.2 billion).

Services

Services exports decreased $0.2 billion from November to December. The decrease was
more than accounted for by decreases in other transportation (which includes freight
and port services) and other private services (which includes items such as business,
professional, and technical services, insurance services, and financial services).
An increase in travel was partly offsetting. Changes in other categories of services
exports were small.

Services imports decreased $0.1 billion from November to December. The decrease was more
than accounted for by decreases in other transportation and direct defense expenditures.
An increase in travel was partly offsetting. Changes in other categories of services
imports were small.

The December 2007 to December 2008 increase in exports of services was $0.8 billion. The
largest increases were in royalties and license fees ($0.6 billion) and other private
services ($0.4 billion). Within other private services, the largest increase was in
business, professional, and technical services, which was partly offset by a decrease in
financial services.

The December 2007 to December 2008 increase in imports of services was $1.1 billion. The
largest increases were in other private services ($0.6 billion) and royalties and license
fees ($0.3 billion). Within other private services, the largest increase was in business,
professional, and technical services, which was partly offset by a decrease in financial
services.

Goods and Services Moving Average

For the three months ending in December, exports of goods and services averaged $142.5
billion, while imports of goods and services averaged $188.8 billion, resulting in an
average trade deficit of $46.2 billion. For the three months ending in November, the
average trade deficit was $52.0 billion, reflecting average exports of $149.6 billion
and average imports of $201.5 billion.

Selected Not Seasonally Adjusted Goods Details

The December figures showed surpluses, in billions of dollars, with Hong Kong $1.0
($1.0 for November), Australia $0.7 ($1.0), Singapore $0.7 ($0.7), and Egypt $0.2 ($0.1).
Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China $19.9 ($23.1), the European
Union $7.0 ($5.6), Japan $5.3 ($5.0), OPEC $4.7 ($5.6), Mexico $4.1 ($3.5), Canada $2.8
($3.4), Korea $1.4 ($1.2), Taiwan $1.3 ($1.4), Venezuela $1.2 ($1.3), and Nigeria $1.2 ($1.3).

Advanced technology products (ATP) exports were $22.1 billion in December and imports
were $24.3 billion, resulting in a deficit of $2.2 billion. December exports were $1.9
billion more than the $20.1 billion in November, while imports were $0.4 billion less
than the $24.7 billion in November.

Revisions

Goods carry-over in December was $0.1 billion (0.1 percent) for exports and $1.1 billion
(0.8 percent) for imports. For November, revised export carry-over was $0.1 billion
(0.1 percent), revised down from $0.2 billion (0.2 percent). For November, revised import
carry-over was $0.1 billion, revised down from $0.6 billion (0.4 percent).

The seasonally adjusted goods data for January through November were also revised to align
the seasonally adjusted months with the annual totals.

Services exports for November were revised down $0.3 billion to $45.3 billion. The
revision was mostly accounted for by downward revisions in travel, other transportation,
and passenger fares. Services imports for November were virtually unrevised at $33.6
billion.

Annual Summary for 2008

Goods and Services

For 2008, exports of $1,843.0 billion and imports of $2,520.1 billion resulted in a goods
and services deficit of $677.1 billion, $23.2 billion less than the 2007 deficit of $700.3
billion. For goods, exports were $1,291.3 billion and imports were $2,112.5 billion,
resulting in a goods deficit of $821.2 billion, $1.8 billion more than the 2007 deficit of
$819.4 billion. For services, exports were $551.6 billion and imports were $407.6 billion,
resulting in a services surplus of $144.1 billion, $24.9 billion more than the 2007 surplus
of $119.1 billion.

The goods and services deficit was $677.1 billion in 2008, down from $700.3 billion in 2007.
As a percentage of U.S. gross domestic product, the goods and services deficit was 4.7
percent in 2008, down from 5.1 percent in 2007.

Goods

For 2008, on a Census basis, exports of goods were up $138.0 billion from 2007. Increases
occurred in industrial supplies and materials ($70.9 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages
($24.2 billion); capital goods ($22.0 billion); consumer goods ($15.1 billion); and other
goods ($5.9 billion). A decrease occurred in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines
($0.1 billion).

For 2008, on a Census basis, imports of goods were up $143.5 billion from 2007. Increases
occurred in industrial supplies and materials ($140.8 billion); capital goods ($9.3 billion);
consumer goods ($7.6 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($7.3 billion); and other goods
($3.8 billion). A decrease occurred in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($25.3 billion).

Services

For 2008, exports of services were $551.6 billion, up $54.4 billion from 2007. Increases
occurred in other private services ($17.6 billion), which includes items such as business,
professional, and technical services, insurance services, and financial services; travel
($14.7 billion); other transportation ($8.7 billion), which includes freight and port
services; royalties and license fees ($8.5 billion); and passenger fares ($5.8 billion).
A decrease occurred in transfers under U.S. military sales contracts ($0.9 billion). U.S.
government miscellaneous services were virtually unchanged.

For 2008, imports of services were $407.6 billion, up $29.5 billion from 2007. Increases
occurred in other private services ($9.8 billion); other transportation ($5.8 billion);
travel ($4.2 billion); passenger fares ($3.8 billion); direct defense expenditures
($3.0 billion); royalties and license fees ($2.8 billion); and U.S. government miscellaneous
services ($0.2 billion).

For detailed descriptions of the types of transactions included in each of the services
categories, see “Information on Goods and Services” starting on page A-1 of this release.

Notice

Changes to Country Groupings and Areas

Effective with the January 2009 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services release
(FT-900) on March 13, 2009, country groupings and areas will be revised to reflect changes
for Kosovo, the Euro area, and OPEC. The country of Kosovo will be listed in exhibits 6
and 6a of the FT-900 supplement. Slovakia will be included in the Euro area in exhibit 14
of the FT-900 and exhibit 6 of the FT-900 supplement. Indonesia will be excluded from OPEC
in exhibit 14 of the FT-900 and exhibit 6 of the FT-900 supplement. The statistics for prior
time periods are not affected by these changes.

Changes to Export Data

The Census Bureau will begin suppressing export data for certain 10-digit Schedule B
commodity classifications related to the aircraft industry with the release of the January
2009 FT-900 on March 13, 2009. To account for the suppression of commodity detail, the
Census Bureau will begin publishing a new commodity classification series titled “Civilian
Aircraft, Engines, and Parts” under Schedule B code 8800.00.0000.

Goods export data from January 2004 through December 2008 will be revised as a result
of analysis of the aircraft industry. The 2004 – 2008 revisions will be reflected in
both the April FT-900 and the FT-900 Annual Revision to be released on June 10, 2009,
and in all standard revised Foreign Trade Division data products. Please note that
not all Census Bureau publications or data products will be updated with these
revisions. Information on revised data products is available at
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/notices/aircraft/products.html.

The suppression of commodity detail will impact all classification systems, including End-use,
Standard International Trade Classification System (SITC), North American Industry Classification
System (NAICS), and Advanced Technology Product (ATP). All exhibits will show the new
classification codes. A complete list of affected classification systems and codes is
available at http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/notices/aircraft/codes.html.

Changes to Data Products

Effective with the January 2009 FT-900 release on March 13, 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau will
modify the record layout and file format of several data products to accommodate changing
technology and data user demand. New file formats and additional information can be found
at http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/notices/20080901_productchanges.html

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Census Bureau's
Data Dissemination Branch on (301) 763-2311 or at ftd.data.dissemination@census.gov.