September trade in intangibles

This morning’s September trade deficit data from BEA is not so good. The overall deficit rose by $3 billion to $43.0 billion. This was due almost completely to a $3 billion decline in exports. Import were basically unchanged – up by a slight $0.1 billion – even with a surge in consumer electronics imports. The deficit in petroleum goods was up only slightly. The drop was far greater than economists’ expectation of a $40.2 billion deficit. The slowdown in exports is thought to reflect the slower economic grow in our trading partners in Europe and Japan. It will also likely cause a downward revision in 3Q GDP estimates due out later this month.
The surplus in pure intangibles was virtually unchanged in September at $14 billion. The only real change from August was a decline in exports of maintenance & repair services which was offset by very slight improvements in other sectors.
The really bad news was a huge jump in our Advanced Technology deficit, which hit almost $10.5 billion in September. That was an increase in $6 billion over August. Imports of information and communications technology dropped surged by nearly $4 billion. Small drops in exports and increases in imports in other sectors accounted for the rest of the decline.
Advanced Technology goods also represent trade in intangibles. These goods are competitive because their value is based on knowledge and other intangibles. While not a perfect measure, Advanced Technology goods serve as an approximation of our trade in embedded intangibles. Adding the pure and embedded intangibles shows an overall surplus of only $3.5 billion – down from $9.5 billion in August due to the large deficit in Advanced Technology goods.
Intangibles trade-Sept14.png
Intangibles trade parts-Sept14.png
Intangibles and goods-Sept14.png
Oil goods intangibles-Sept14.png

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