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U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
U.S. Department of Commerce * Washington, D.C. 20230
U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services
Annual Revision for 2009


In this release and in the accompanying “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services:
April 2010,” the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) are
jointly publishing revised statistics on both U.S. trade in goods and U.S. trade in
services 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 17, 2010.

The annual revision has not changed the overall trend in the goods and services balance.
On an annual basis, for 1999-2009, the goods and services deficit was revised one percent
or less each year.  Downward revisions in the goods deficit were mostly offset by downward
revisions in the services surplus.  The revisions in goods and services were due, in part,
to the reclassification of certain transactions from services to goods, which is described
below.  For 2009, the goods and services deficit was revised down $3.7 billion, or 1.0 percent.

Goods and Services

Beginning with statistics for 1999, certain goods-related transactions previously recorded
in services transactions, including fuel purchases by U.S. military agencies and by
transportation carriers and equipment exported under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales
Program, were reclassified to goods on a balance of payments (BOP) basis.  These
reclassifications resulted in upward revisions to goods and offsetting downward revisions
to services.  For goods, the reclassifications were made through new BOP adjustments—adjustments
that BEA applies to goods exports and imports on a Census basis to convert them to
a BOP basis.  These adjustments are combined and presented as “Net adjustments” in this
report. In the ITAs, the adjustments will be distributed to the appropriate end-use commodity
categories, which BEA presents in a standard table of the ITAs, Table 2. U.S. Trade in Goods.

The reclassifications are part of a multi-year effort to align the ITAs with the most recent
international guidelines for international economic accounts as released in 2009 in the sixth
edition of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments and International Investment
Position Manual.  Additional information on BEA’s 2010 annual revision of the ITAs and plans
for implementing the new international standards were presented in the May 2010 issue of the
Survey of Current Business.


The 2009 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 data were received.  In addition, corrections
were made to previously published 2009 statistics.  Seasonal and trading-day adjustments
were then recomputed, and the seasonally adjusted current-dollar series were revised
beginning with statistics for 2007.  The chain-weighted dollar series were also revised
beginning with statistics for 2007.

In addition to the new BOP adjustments described above, new BOP adjustments for exports and
imports for 2007-2009 were included to phase in a revised Census methodology for low-value
goods.  This methodology was implemented for goods on a Census basis beginning with statistics
for 2010.  Also, an existing BOP adjustment for imports, which is used to reclassify transactions
in repair services from goods to services, was revised to improve coverage beginning with
statistics for 1999.  Finally, other significant revisions to BOP adjustments, resulting from
updated source data, begin with statistics for 2008.


In addition to revisions resulting from the reclassification of transactions as described
above, services exports and imports were revised due to updated source data beginning with
statistics for 2006.  The revisions resulted largely from the incorporation of newly available
and revised data from BEA quarterly services surveys and from initial results of BEA’s benchmark
survey of international insurance transactions.