News Release

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, Thursday, April 2, 2020
CB 20-52
BEA 20-16

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

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $39.9 billion in February, down $5.5 billion from $45.5 billion in January, revised.

U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services Deficit
Deficit: $39.9 Billion -12.2%°
Exports: $207.5 Billion -0.4%°
Imports: $247.5 Billion -2.5%°

Next release: May 5, 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, April 2, 2020

Goods and Services Trade Deficit, Seasonally adjusted

Exports, Imports, and Balance (exhibit 1)

February exports were $207.5 billion, $0.8 billion less than January exports. February imports were $247.5 billion, $6.3 billion less than January imports.

The February decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $5.9 billion to $61.2 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.4 billion to $21.3 billion.

Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit decreased $19.7 billion, or 18.7 percent, from the same period in 2019. Exports increased $1.1 billion or 0.3 percent. Imports decreased $18.6 billion or 3.6 percent.

Three-Month Moving Averages (exhibit 2)

The average goods and services deficit decreased $1.3 billion to $44.7 billion for the three months ending in February.

  • Average exports decreased $0.1 billion to $208.4 billion in February.
  • Average imports decreased $1.3 billion to $253.1 billion in February.

Year-over-year, the average goods and services deficit decreased $10.6 billion from the three months ending in February 2019.

  • Average exports increased $1.6 billion from February 2019.
  • Average imports decreased $9.0 billion from February 2019.

Exports (exhibits 3, 6, and 7)

Exports of goods increased $1.0 billion to $137.2 billion in February.

  Exports of goods on a Census basis increased $1.0 billion.

  • Industrial supplies and materials increased $0.7 billion.
    • Fuel oil increased $0.5 billion.
    • Other petroleum products increased $0.5 billion.
  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased $0.5 billion.
    • Automotive parts and accessories increased $0.3 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $0.7 billion.
    • Pharmaceutical preparations decreased $0.3 billion.
    • Gem diamonds decreased $0.2 billion.

  Net balance of payments adjustments decreased less than $0.1 billion.

Exports of services decreased $1.7 billion to $70.3 billion in February.

  • Travel decreased $1.3 billion.
  • Financial services decreased $0.3 billion.
  • Transport decreased $0.2 billion.

Imports (exhibits 4, 6, and 8)

Imports of goods decreased $5.0 billion to $198.4 billion in February.

  Imports of goods on a Census basis decreased $5.1 billion.

  • Capital goods decreased $3.7 billion.
    • Computers decreased $1.4 billion.
    • Telecommunications equipment decreased $0.6 billion.
    • Computer accessories decreased $0.5 billion.
  • Industrial supplies and materials decreased $1.6 billion.
    • Fuel oil decreased $0.6 billion.
    • Organic chemicals decreased $0.4 billion.
  • Consumer goods decreased $1.1 billion.
  • Automotive vehicles, parts, and engines increased $1.4 billion.
    • Passenger cars increased $1.4 billion.

  Net balance of payments adjustments increased $0.2 billion.

Imports of services decreased $1.4 billion to $49.1 billion in February.

  • Travel decreased $0.8 billion.
  • Transport decreased $0.5 billion.

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

The real goods deficit decreased $9.0 billion to $69.0 billion in February.

  • Real exports of goods increased $3.7 billion to $150.5 billion.
  • Real imports of goods decreased $5.3 billion to $219.5 billion.

Revisions

In addition to revisions to source data for the January statistics, exports of energy-related petroleum products in exhibit 17 were revised beginning with January 2019 to incorporate corrections that averaged $229 million per month. These corrections did not affect other exhibits.

Revisions to January exports

  • Exports of goods were revised down $0.1 billion.
  • Exports of services were revised down $0.1 billion.

Revisions to January imports

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

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

The February figures show surpluses, in billions of dollars, with South and Central America ($5.9), Brazil ($1.9), Hong Kong ($1.5), United Kingdom ($1.3), OPEC ($1.2), Singapore ($0.7), and Saudi Arabia ($0.3). Deficits were recorded, in billions of dollars, with China ($19.7), European Union ($12.6), Mexico ($9.7), Japan ($5.1), Germany ($4.8), Italy ($2.3), South Korea ($1.7), India ($1.6), Canada ($1.6), Taiwan ($1.5), and France ($0.5).

  • The deficit with China decreased $4.0 billion to $19.7 billion in February. Exports decreased $0.3 billion to $7.5 billion and imports decreased $4.2 billion to $27.2 billion.
  • The deficit with the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom) decreased $2.2 billion to $12.6 billion in February. Exports decreased $0.6 billion to $22.4 billion and imports decreased $2.7 billion to $35.0 billion.
  • The deficit with South Korea increased $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion in February. Exports decreased $1.0 billion to $4.7 billion and imports increased $0.2 billion to $6.4 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: May 5, 2020, at 8:30 A.M. EDT

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

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Notice

Change to the European Union

With this release of the “U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services” report (FT-900), statistics for the “European Union” grouping in exhibits 14, 16a, and 19 of the FT-900 and in exhibit 4 of the FT-900 Supplement exclude the United Kingdom, which withdrew from the European Union effective February 1, 2020. This change will also affect exhibits 20, 20a, and 20b of the FT-900 with the release of statistics for the first quarter of 2020 on June 4, 2020.

Upcoming Updates to Goods and Services

With the releases of the FT-900 for April 2020 statistics and the FT-900 Annual Revision on June 4, 2020, statistics on trade in goods on both a Census basis and a balance of payments (BOP) basis will be revised beginning with 2015, and statistics on trade in services will be revised beginning with 1999. 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 the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on June 19, 2020.

Revised statistics on trade in goods will 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 will reflect:

  • Reclassifications of transactions between current services categories and new services categories (see below).
  • Improved estimation methods for several services categories.
  • 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.
  • 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 will be expanded to include two new major services categories: construction and personal, cultural, and recreational services. Prototypes of modified exhibits 3 and 4 are available at www.bea.gov/system/files/2020-04/prototype-exhibits-3-4.xlsx. In addition, some transactions will be reclassified between charges for the use of intellectual property n.i.e. (not included elsewhere), other business services, maintenance and repair services n.i.e., and the new categories construction and personal, cultural, and recreational services.

More information on these changes will be provided in an article previewing BEA’s 2020 annual update of the international transactions accounts in the April 2020 issue of the Survey of Current Business, BEA’s monthly online journal.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the U.S. 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].