Home Page

About Us



New Laws/Regs



Opeds and Speeches


Contact Us



A Quarterly Forecast of U.S. Trade in Services and the Current Account, 2000-2003
Nov 14, 2000

1 2 3 4 5 6 >>
  • Comment Board
  • PDF Download
  • Introduction

    Trade in services2 continues to be a major part of U.S. participation in the global economy. Since the mid-1980s, the dollar value of service imports has, on average, equaled more than 21 percent of the value of goods imports, while service exports have, on average, been 40 percent as large as goods exports. In calendar 1999, U.S. service exports, as measured in the balance of payments accounts, totaled $271.9 billion compared with $191.3 in service imports, yielding a U.S. trade surplus in services of $80.6 billion.

    The U.S. has been running a positive balance in service trade since 1974. In the late 1970s, the service balance ran in the range of $4-$5 billion per year; during the 1980s, the annual service surplus was generally in the $12-$15 billion range; and by the late 1980s, service trade was producing $20-$30 billion surpluses. The 1990s saw marked growth in service trade, with export growth outpacing import growth through most of the decade, to generate service trade surpluses that rose sharply through 1997, as follows (annually, in billions of $s, transaction-based):

    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
    $30.2 45.8 60.4 63.7 69.2 77.8 89.2 90.7 80.0 80.6

    The economic and financial problems in the Asia-Pacific region took a toll on U.S. exports. This was especially true for goods exports, but service exports were impacted as well. By mid-1997, service exports had grown to $261 billion at an annual rate, up from $235 billion a year earlier. At that point, service exports stalled, and remained essentially flat in the range of $255-$267 billion from the second quarter of 1997 through the fourth quarter of 1998. Only in 1999 did service exports resume their growth, reaching an annual rate of $293 billion in the second quarter of 2000. Service imports, on the other hand continued to rise throughout 1998, with the result that the balance of trade in services declined to an annual rate of under $73 billion in 1998.3 The balance fluctuated after that, reaching just under $84 billion as of the latest quarter, 2000.2, for which we have data.

    1For further information, contact: Robert M. Stern, rmstern@umich.edu, tel. 734-764-2373, fax. 810-277-4102.

    2In this document, the term services refers exclusively to the services portion of what is reported as trade in goods and services. It does not include factor income, interest income, and the like that are part of the current account.

    1Balance of payments figures are transaction based and represent actual international payments for services. NIPA-based figures, used for National Income and Product Accounting purposes, differ from actual transactions primarily by including imputed values for financial services rendered in kind and gross two-way parent-affiliate transactions. NIPA figures are conceptually more compatible with other variables of the forecasting model and have therefore been used here for that purpose. We report transaction figures, however, and an adjusted transactions-based forecast, for ease of comparison with the more familiar numbers that are reported in the press.

    For all tables and figures please see the attached pdf file.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 >>

    Comments [Add Comment]

    No comments posted as of 10/20/2007.

    About Us | Statistics | New Laws/Regs
    Library | Facts | Opeds and Speeches | Links | Contact Us

    Copyright © 2000, The Mark Twain Institue.
    This web site was programmed and designed by Americaneagle.com, Inc.