UPDATE: Prototypes previewing the structure of the upcoming trade in services tables are now available on the international services webpage. The international transaction account data tables have all been published. (Updated June 29, 2020)
Big changes are coming to BEA’s international statistics this month: More data, faster data, and a new data table that will make it easier to analyze trade in services and goods between the United States and 90 trading partners.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis is rolling out the improvements with this year’s annual update of the international transactions accounts on June 19 and the publication of new international services data on June 30.
- Services trade statistics for more countries
In 2016, BEA increased the number of countries and other geographic areas in our annual trade in services statistics to 90. Beginning in June, we’ll publish statistics for all 90 areas quarterly, too. Statistics becoming available on a quarterly basis include services trade with Colombia, Peru, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam. The statistics show U.S. exports, imports, and trade balance for each country. For the full list, see prototype International Transaction Table 3.3 in our Interactive Data.
- Three new major services categories
Following international recommendations, BEA will add new trade in services categories for construction and for personal, cultural, and recreational services to the international transactions accounts (ITAs). A third category – manufacturing services on inputs owned by others – will be added to tables as a placeholder for future statistics, showing no data for now. See the prototypes listed below the current ITA tables.
- Detailed annual statistics published earlier
Our most-detailed statistics about the types of services traded with each country are published annually, traditionally in October. We are moving them up to June 30 this year and assessing the feasibility of publishing them with the ITA release each June starting next year.
- Two new tables for ease of use
Would you like to find countries buying lots of construction services from the United States? Interested in the types of goods and services imported from Peru? Want to see U.S. direct investment income by country? Two new tables will make it easier to find and analyze international transactions.
Currently, the more-detailed statistics on trade in goods and services by country are spread across three different tables: ITA Table 2.3, ITA Table 3.3, and International Services Table 2.3. Responding to requests from data users, BEA is creating an annual table that combines BEA’s detailed services data with the U.S. Census Bureau’s goods data.
The new ITA Table 1.5 will combine exports, imports, and trade balances for both goods and services, by country and by major subcategory. Just choose Peru, or any of 90 countries and areas, to see the details of trade in goods and services with the United States. Or download the entire table for analysis. Beginning next year, publication of this new annual table will move up to March.
In the new ITA Table 1.4, you’ll be able to choose international transaction types – for example, exports of construction services or direct investment income – and see all the available data for that transaction by trading partner.
- More detailed breakdown of services
We’re adding 30 new subcategories to our annual trade in services statistics, including:
- Computer software, including end-user licenses and customization
- Cloud computing and data storage services
- News agency services
- Database and other information services
- Customized and non-customized R&D
- Sale of proprietary rights arising from R&D
- Other R&D services, including testing
- Market research and public opinion polling services
- Waste treatment and de-pollution services
- Audiovisual production services
- Rights to use audiovisual products
- Audiovisual originals
- Health services
- Education services
Before the June 30 international services release, BEA plans to post prototype international services tables 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 showing the presentation of these subcategories.
- More information about intellectual property transactions
New information collected on BEA’s surveys will greatly increase our understanding of transactions involving intellectual property, such as computer software or digital books and music. For example, BEA’s statistics will be able to distinguish between a purchase of a license to use music (classified as audiovisual services) and the purchase of rights to reproduce and distribute that music (charges for the use of intellectual property). This affects the services statistics in several prototype ITA tables.
- Other new details in services data for some countries
Other more-detailed services data are also coming to the annual statistics. For example, you’ll see new geographic data for all types of travel services, including health-related travel; other personal travel; expenditures of seasonal, border, and other short-term workers; and other business travel.
For more information about the changes in June, see the article “Preview of the 2020 Annual Update of the International Economic Accounts” in the April 2020 issue of the Survey of Current Business