News Release

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2020
CB 20-81
BEA 20-25

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, April 2020

UPDATE Exhibits 19 and 19b in the "U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, Annual Revision" report and exhibits 20 and 20b in the "U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, April 2020" report were updated on June 8, 2020, to incorporate seasonally adjusted services data by geography that were not available with the initial publication. The release text and relevant tables in "U.S. Trade in Goods and Services by Selected Countries and Areas, 1999-present" were also updated.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $49.4 billion in April, up $7.1 billion from $42.3 billion in March, revised.

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Deficit
Deficit: $49.4 Billion +16.7%°
Exports: $151.3 Billion -20.5%°
Imports: $200.7 Billion -13.7%°

Next release: July 2, 2020

(°) Statistical significance is not applicable or not measurable. Data adjusted for seasonality but not price changes

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, June 4, 2020

Goods and Services Trade Deficit, Seasonally adjusted
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on April 2020 International Trade in Goods and Services

The declines in exports and imports that continued in April were, in part, due to the impact of COVID-19, as many businesses were operating at limited capacity or ceased operations completely, and the movement of travelers across borders was restricted. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the trade statistics for April because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified. The Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis have monitored data quality and determined estimates in this release meet publication standards. For more information on the impact of COVID-19 on the statistics, see the frequently asked questions on goods from the Census Bureau and on services from BEA.

Exports, Imports, and Balance (exhibit 1)

April exports were $151.3 billion, $38.9 billion less than March exports. April imports were $200.7 billion, $31.8 billion less than March imports.

The April increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $5.8 billion to $71.8 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $1.3 billion to $22.4 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $26.0 billion, or 13.4 percent, from the same period in 2019. Exports decreased $79.8 billion or 9.5 percent. Imports decreased $105.8 billion or 10.2 percent.

Three-Month Moving Averages (exhibit 2)

The average goods and services deficit increased $2.5 billion to $42.1 billion for the three months ending in April.

  • Average exports decreased $19.7 billion to $184.4 billion in April.
  • Average imports decreased $17.3 billion to $226.5 billion in April.

Year-over-year, the average goods and services deficit decreased $6.3 billion from the three months ending in April 2019.

  • Average exports decreased $26.7 billion from April 2019.
  • Average imports decreased $33.0 billion from April 2019.

Exports (exhibits 3, 6, and 7)

Exports of goods decreased $32.2 billion to $95.5 billion in April.

  Exports of goods on a Census basis decreased $32.0 billion.

  • Capital goods decreased $10.1 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft engines decreased $2.2 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft decreased $2.1 billion.
    • Other industrial machinery decreased $1.0 billion.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $9.1 billion.
    • Crude oil decreased $2.0 billion.
    • Fuel oil decreased $1.7 billion.
    • Other petroleum products decreased $1.1 billion.
  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines decreased $7.4 billion.
    • Automotive parts and accessories decreased $2.6 billion.
    • Passenger cars decreased $2.4 billion.
    • Trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles decreased $1.2 billion.

  Net balance of payments adjustments decreased $0.2 billion.

Exports of services decreased $6.7 billion to $55.8 billion in April.

  • Travel decreased $3.4 billion.
  • Transport decreased $2.3 billion.

Imports (exhibits 4, 6, and 8)

Imports of goods decreased $26.4 billion to $167.4 billion in April.

  Imports of goods on a Census basis decreased $26.2 billion.

  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines decreased $14.6 billion.
    • Passenger cars decreased $6.9 billion.
    • Automotive parts and accessories decreased $4.1 billion.
    • Trucks, buses, and special purpose vehicles decreased $2.3 billion.
  • Capital goods decreased $5.8 billion.
    • Semiconductors decreased $1.4 billion.
    • Electric apparatus decreased $0.8 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft decreased $0.7 billion.
    • Civilian aircraft engines decreased $0.7 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $3.1 billion.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations decreased $1.2 billion.
    • Cotton apparel and household goods decreased $1.1 billion.

  Net balance of payments adjustments decreased $0.2 billion.

Imports of services decreased $5.4 billion to $33.3 billion in April.

  • Travel decreased $2.9 billion.
  • Transport decreased $2.0 billion.

Real Goods in 2012 Dollars – Census Basis (exhibit 11)

The real goods deficit increased $4.1 billion to $80.0 billion in April.

  • Real exports of goods decreased $29.2 billion to $113.8 billion.
  • Real imports of goods decreased $25.1 billion to $193.8 billion.

Revisions

Exports and imports of goods and services for all months through March 2020 shown in this release reflect the incorporation of annual revisions to the goods and services series. See the "Notice" in this release for a description of the revisions.

Revisions to March exports

  • Exports of goods were revised down $0.4 billion.
  • Exports of services were revised up $2.8 billion.

Revisions to March imports

  • Imports of goods were revised up less than $0.1 billion.
  • Imports of services were revised up $0.3 billion.

Goods by Selected Countries and Areas: Monthly – Census Basis (exhibit 19)

The April figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($2.9), OPEC ($1.4), Brazil ($0.8), Saudi Arabia ($0.3), and Hong Kong (less than $0.1). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($26.0), European Union ($14.3), Germany ($4.0), Japan ($3.6), Mexico ($3.3), South Korea ($2.3), Taiwan ($2.2), Italy ($2.0), India ($1.9), France ($1.4), Singapore ($1.1), Canada ($0.4), and United Kingdom ($0.4).

  • The deficit with China increased $9.0 billion to $26.0 billion in April. Exports increased $2.1 billion to $9.3 billion and imports increased $11.0 billion to $35.2 billion.
  • The surplus with South and Central America decreased $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion in April. Exports decreased $4.3 billion to $8.7 billion and imports decreased $2.2 billion to $5.8 billion.
  • The deficit with Mexico decreased $5.6 billion to $3.3 billion in April. Exports decreased $7.0 billion to $12.4 billion and imports decreased $12.6 billion to $15.8 billion.

Goods and Services by Selected Countries and Areas: Quarterly – Balance of Payments Basis
(exhibit 20)

Statistics on trade in goods and services by country and area are only available quarterly, with a one-month lag. With this release, first-quarter figures are now available.

The first-quarter figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($24.0), OPEC ($9.4), Brazil ($9.0), Hong Kong ($6.0), United Kingdom ($5.4), Singapore ($4.1), and Saudi Arabia ($3.1). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($53.7), European Union ($29.8), Mexico ($28.1), Germany ($15.9), Japan ($12.2), Italy ($8.0), India ($6.4), Taiwan ($4.1), France ($1.1), South Korea ($0.9), and Canada ($0.3).

  • The deficit with China decreased $14.3 billion to $53.7 billion in the first quarter. Exports decreased $4.4 billion to $35.0 billion and imports decreased $18.7 billion to $88.7 billion.
  • The deficit with Canada decreased $3.0 billion to $0.3 billion in the first quarter. Exports decreased $2.4 billion to $86.7 billion and imports decreased $5.5 billion to $87.0 billion.
  • The deficit with Mexico increased $1.4 billion to $28.1 billion in the first quarter. Exports decreased $0.8 billion to $69.2 billion and imports increased $0.6 billion to $97.3 billion.

 

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All statistics referenced are seasonally adjusted; statistics are on a balance of payments basis unless otherwise specified. Additional statistics, including not seasonally adjusted statistics and details for goods on a Census basis, are available in exhibits 1-20b of this release. For information on data sources, definitions, and revision procedures, see the explanatory notes in this release. The full release can be found at www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/index.html or www.bea.gov/data/intl-trade-investment/international-trade-goods-and-services. The full schedule is available in the Census Bureau's Economic Briefing Room at www.census.gov/economic-indicators/ or on BEA's website at www.bea.gov/news/schedule.

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Next release: July 2, 2020, at 8:30 A.M. EDT

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, May 2020

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Notice

Updates to Goods and Services

In this release and in the accompanying "U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, Annual Revision" release, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) are publishing revised statistics on trade in goods and services. With these releases, statistics on trade in goods, on both a Census basis and a balance of payments (BOP) basis, are revised beginning with 2015, and statistics on trade in services are revised beginning with 1999.

Revised statistics on trade in goods reflect:

  • Corrections and adjustments to previously published not seasonally adjusted statistics for goods on a Census basis.
  • Reclassifications of several end-use commodities.
  • Recalculated seasonal and trading-day adjustments.
  • Newly available and revised source data on BOP adjustments, which are adjustments that BEA applies to goods on a Census basis to convert them to a BOP basis. See the "Goods (balance of payments basis)" section in the explanatory notes for more information.

Revised statistics on trade in services reflect:

  • Introduction of transactions for implicitly charged financial services.
  • Reclassifications of transactions among previously published services categories and between previously published categories and new categories.
  • Improved estimation methods.
  • Newly available and revised source data, primarily from BEA surveys, including the results of BEA's benchmark survey of selected services and intellectual property transactions for 2017, and newly available administrative data for travel and transport services.
  • Recalculated seasonal adjustments.
  • Revised temporal distributions of quarterly source data to monthly statistics. See the "Services" section in the explanatory notes for more information.

To further align BEA statistics with international guidelines, such as the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual published by the International Monetary Fund, exhibits 3 and 4 have been expanded to present two new services categories: construction and personal, cultural, and recreational services. In addition, some transactions have been reclassified among charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e. (not included elsewhere); other business services; telecommunications, computer, and information services; maintenance and repair services n.i.e.; and the new categories construction and personal, cultural, and recreational services.

For more information on these changes, see "Preview of the 2020 Annual Update of the International Economic Accounts."

The overall trend in the goods and services balance was little changed by this annual update. From 1999 through 2019, the annual goods and services deficit was revised by less than 2 percent (positive or negative) for most years. However, for some years—2009, 2012, 2013, and 2016–2019—the annual goods and services deficit was revised by more than 2 percent (positive or negative). Those updates reflected revisions to the services surplus, which ranged from −8.7 percent in 2009 to 15.7 percent in 2018. Methodological updates were the largest factor behind the revisions to the services balance.

The revised statistics for goods on a BOP basis and for services will also be included in the "U.S. International Transactions, First Quarter 2020 and Annual Update" report and in the international transactions interactive database, both to be released by BEA on June 19, 2020.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Census Bureau, Economic Indicators Division, International Trade Macro Analysis Branch, on (800) 549-0595, option 4, or at [email protected]; or BEA, Balance of Payments Division, at [email protected].