A measure of the country’s international trade balance in goods, services, and unilateral transfers. The level of the current account, as well as trends in exports and imports, are followed as indicators of trends in foreign trade.
Why do Investors Care?
U.S. trade with foreign countries hold important clues to economic trends here and abroad. The data can directly impact all the financial markets, but especially the foreign exchange value of the dollar.
The dollar can be particularly sensitive to changes in the chronic trade deficit run by the United States since this trade imbalance creates greater demand for foreign currencies. The bond market is sensitive to the risk of importing inflation or deflation. Ever since Asian economies collapsed at the end of 1997, financial market participants have feared that deflation in these economies would be transported to the United States. The linkage is not so direct, and deflationary pressures are not so likely at this time.