The U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services, also known as the FT-900, is published monthly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis with data going back to 1992. The monthly reports include revisions that go back several months. This report details U.S. exports and imports of goods and services.
The Bretton Woods agreement, which established a stable foreign currency exchange system collapsed in 1971 and as a result, currency values began to float freely and the US dollar was no longer tied to gold values. Since 1976, the United States has had an annual negative trade deficit. The International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the original World Bank which is still in existence) came out of the Bretton Woods agreement.
Here is an excerpt from the latest report:
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $56.6 billion in January, up $2.7 billion from $53.9 billion in December, revised.
Exports and imports of goods and services were revised for July through December 2017 to incorporate more comprehensive and updated quarterly and monthly data. In addition to these revisions, seasonally adjusted data for all months in 2017 were revised so that the totals of the seasonally adjusted months equal the annual totals.
Today’s headline number of -56.60B was worse than the Investing.com forecast of -52.60B. Revisions were made going back to July 2017. This series tends to be extremely volatile, so we include a six-month moving average.
Here is a snapshot that gives a better sense of the extreme volatility of this indicator.