The U.S. monthly international trade deficit increased in December 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit increased from $39.8 billion in November (revised) to $46.6 billion in December, as exports decreased and imports increased. The previously published November deficit was $39.0 billion. The goods deficit increased $6.9 billion from November to $66.0 billion in December. The services surplus increased $0.1 billion from November to $19.5 billion in December.
Exports of goods and services decreased $1.5 billion in December to $194.9 billion, reflecting a decrease in exports of goods. Exports of services increased.
- The decrease in exports of goods was more than accounted for by a decrease in industrial supplies and materials. An increase in capital goods was partly offsetting.
- The increase in exports of services reflected increases in transport, which includes freight and port services and passenger fares, in financial services, and in travel (for all purposes including education).
Imports of goods and services increased $5.3 billion in December to $241.4 billion, mostly reflecting an increase in imports of goods. Imports of services also increased.
- The increase in imports of goods mostly reflected increases in industrial supplies and materials and in automotive vehicles, parts, and engines.
- The increase in imports of services mostly reflected increases in transport and in travel (for all purposes including education).
Goods by geographic area (seasonally adjusted, Census basis)
- The goods deficit with Canada increased from $1.6 billion in November (revised) to $3.3 billion in December. Exports decreased $0.8 billion to $25.8 billion and imports increased $0.9 billion to $29.0 billion.
- The goods surplus with South and Central America decreased from $4.3 billion in November to $2.6 billion in December. Exports decreased $0.7 billion $14.8 billion and imports increased $1.0 billion to $12.2 billion.
- The goods deficit with Germany decreased from $6.3 billion in November to $5.6 billion in December. Exports increased $0.1 billion to $3.9 billion and imports decreased $0.6 billion to $9.6 billion.
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Total health care spending reached 17.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, and that share is expected to continue to grow significantly, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given this trend, it is critical to develop an understanding of what those increased expenditures represent. Are the increases attributable to rising costs of treatment or more individuals receiving medical care? What medical conditions account for the majority of spending? Which medical conditions see the cost of treatment rising most rapidly? Do these spending increases coincide with improvements in treatment? Answers to these questions are necessary in order to formulate policies that allow for society’s efficient consumption of health care as well as for the improvement of the nation’s overall health status.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has been conducting research to develop a health care satellite account (HCSA)—engaging in methodological research, evaluating new data sources, collaborating with academic researchers, and working jointly across multiple federal agencies (see the SURVEY OF CURRENT BUSINESS articles (2007),(2008),(2009),(2012),(2013)). The account builds on research by prominent health economists, recommendations from two reports of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on National Statistics, and years of research both at BEA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
This first release of the HCSA presents preliminary estimates that may be used to improve our understanding of health care spending trends and its effects on the U.S. economy.
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New statistics tracking the changes in the prices to treat different diseases are slated to be available Thursday, Jan. 22 when the Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes a new health care satellite account report.
The statistics – the first of their kind – provide information about the changes in prices to treat different diseases – illustrating trends in prices over time. The statistics cover 2000-2010 and will be contained in a report published in the January Survey of Current Business. Another new set of annual statistics that track how much is spent to treat different diseases over that same 10-year period also will be released. These new statistics are derived from large medical claims databases that include millions of individuals and billions of claims.
BEA’s new detailed, health care statistics will provide businesses, households and policymakers with even more data to make informed decisions.
These new health care statistics emerge from a multiyear project to improve the way health care spending is measured throughout the U.S. economy. Health care spending is an important part of the U.S. economy, accounting for 17.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2013, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.