There seems to be some confusion regarding the distinction between trade balance in goods and services (a typical macro variable of interest) and trade balance in goods (more commonly reported, but less and less relevant on its own as countries become more service intenstive). In order help remedy this confusion, I plot below freely and easily accessible data, for those willing to expend a few calories to click.
Figure 1: US-Canada bilateral trade balance (bold blue), and merchandise trade balance (red). NBER defined recession dates shaded gray. Source: BEA/BuCensus (Tables 3 and 6), NBER.
The Canadian estimate of the US-Canada deficit differs from the US along a variety of dimensions (definitions, coverage, etc.). A detailed discussion and reconciliation for 2010-2011 is provided in this 2013 BEA article, which deals (among other things) with re-exports. (Dean Baker deals discusses re-exports but not other aspects of reconciliation.)
Old Fogie Rant at 11:35
PMAM Pacific: People keep on asking me where the data are from, or for me to compile the relevant series and post the corresponding workfile or Excel file. If I had an RA for this blog, I would — but I don’t make any money off of this blog to fund such an enterprise — so here are some links where pretty much all the data I plot are from.
- St. Louis Fed economic database
- International Monetary Fund data page
- IMF World Economic Outlook Database Annual data, forecasts.
- World Bank Data bank
- Bank for International Settlements statistics page
- Bank for International Settlements Effective Exchange Rate Indices.
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data page
- Congressional Budget Office (check Budget and Economic Outlooks.)
- Federal Reserve Board data page
- Economist Economic Indicators
- Economic Indicators Publication of CEA and Congressional Joint Economic Committee
- Bureau of Economic Analysis, Dept. of Commerce
- Bureau of the Census, Dept. of Commerce
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dept. of Labor
- Energy Information Agency, Dept. of Energy
- Economic Report of the President, various years. The Appendix of this annual publication contains about 70 tables of government economic data.
- NBER Data Specialized economic databases created by
economists associated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Pacific Exchange Rate Service.
- Penn World Tables Annual GDP and other data for over a hundred countries, expressed in dollars, after adjusting for differing price levels.
- Economic Policy Uncertainty Indices of Baker, Bloom and Davis
- Census via International Trade AdministrationExports by state to world/countries, by nation to world/countries, by state, commodity to world/countries.
- Philadelphia Fed, coincident indices, leading indices.
- Survey of Professional Forecasters.