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International Trade

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Definition of 'International Trade'

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Census at the United States Department of Commerce release the International Trade figures in the middle of the month for the month two months ago. January's data is release in mid-March.

International Trade is for both goods and services and figures produced show the trade balance as well. The trade balance is the total exports less the imports. If we have a negative trade balance this means that we are importing more than we are exporting. The United States has had a negative trade balance for the last 20 years.

In 1992 the trade deficit was 1 to 4 billion dollars each month. Since 1998 that figure has been between 10 and 60 billion dollars although the monthly deficit has eased up since the start of the global financial crises.

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