America's international economic decisions rest to a large degree on the information available to policymakers. Yet the quality of international trade and financial data is in serious doubt. This book reveals how our systems for collecting and analyzing trade data have fallen behind the times--and presents recommendations for new approaches to accuracy and usefulness of these economic data.
The volume traces the burgeoning use of international economic data by public and private analysts at a time when the United States is becoming increasingly integrated into the world economy. It also points out problems of capturing new transactions, comparing data from different sources, limited access to the data, and more. This is the first volume to review all three types of U.S. international data--merchandise trade, international services transactions, and capital flows. Highlights include:
- Specific steps for U.S. agencies to take.
- Special analyses on improving the accuracy of merchandise trade data, filling data gaps on the fast-growing international services transactions, and understanding structural changes in world capital markets.
- Comments, complaints, and suggestions from an original survey of more than 100 key users of trade data.
This practical volume will be invaluable to policymakers, government officials, business executives, economists, statisticians, and researchers.
"The National Research Council deserves congratulation for conceiving of and launching this study of an unglamorous question and the panel members deserve commendation for a job well done." --The International Trade Journal, Vol. VII, No. 6, 1993