Archive for the ‘Export Data’ Category

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Expanding Small Business Owners’ Access to Our Data with Census Business Builder

September 10, 2015

This post originally appeared on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Director’s BlogThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Map Depicting Employer Establishments in Fairfax County, Virginia

Map Depicting Employer Establishments in Fairfax County, Virginia

The U.S. Census Bureau is the premiere source of data about America’s economy and businesses, and we’re committed to making our data more accessible than ever before. I’m pleased to introduce our latest tool in that effort: Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition.

Every day, businesses large and small use Census Bureau data to make important decisions. Large companies have sophisticated research staff to do this work for them, but small business owners are often left to their own devices. We’ve talked to many entrepreneurs across the country, and a common request is for more Census Bureau data in an easier-to-use format. We listened, and in response, we developed Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition to provide them with easier access to more data.

Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition combines economic and demographic data in meaningful ways that are useful to the small business owner. Uniquely, Census Business Builder also uses third party data on consumer spending. While not produced by Census, we believe that the addition of this data will help deliver the information that’s most useful for small business owners’ needs. The result is an innovative data tool that will help small business entrepreneurs determine the best type and location for their small business.

To start, select your business type from a list of over 40 categories – such as a restaurant, construction company or beauty salon – and where you’re considering setting up shop.

Once you input this information, you see a map view of your selected location (county, city, town or ZIP code), along with relevant demographic, economic and housing characteristics for that area’s residents. You can pull up features of other businesses like yours – such as number of establishments or similar businesses, average payroll and consumer spending. You can also add filters in order to see cities, counties and neighborhoods with their potential customers’ desired income, education, poverty and employment characteristics.

The combination of economic and demographic data allows small business owners to make an informed decision about what type of business to open and where to locate it. Once you’ve gathered all of the information you want, Census Business Builder generates a detailed report on the characteristics of your desired geography, its residents and businesses. This critical information can be incorporated into a business plan, a business loan application or shared with others.

Census Business Builder increases the availability and usefulness of the statistics the Census Bureau collects, and it’s a valuable tool for small business owners across America. This is the latest in the Census Bureau’s digital transformation effort, along with major upgrades to Census.gov, an expanding open API, mobile apps and other interactive data tools.

We hope you visit Census Business Builder and give us your thoughts via the feedback button. Ideas for improvements to future versions of the tool will come from you, the user.

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Update to Important Commerce Data Tool Helps Businesses Improve their Export Services and Stay Compliant

August 6, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Kimberly J.C. Becht is Deputy Director of Web Presence for the International Trade Administration

Staying compliant is an extremely important component to exporting. In 2010, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) accepted the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative mandate to create and publish the Consolidated Screening List (CSL). The CSL is a list of names or entities (individuals and organizations) with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business with due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions, or other restrictions. BIS worked with the International Trade Administration (ITA) to create an ECR section on export.gov , where the business community could download the CSL as a text file. Every month, thousands of companies stay compliant by checking the CSL to determine if any of the parties in their overseas transactions are on it.

ITA's CSL application programming interface (API)

Screenshot of ITA’s CSL application programming interface (API)

In 2014, ITA “opened” the CSL data by publishing the CSL application programming interface (API). An API, or data feed, enables any web developer or software engineer to access the data in the CSL and integrate it into their own application. Major e-commerce sites, international shippers, and compliance software companies now use the CSL API every day to improve their services and help their customers stay compliant.

“Fuzzy Name Search” Improves Compliance for U.S. Companies

Based on requests from these companies, from ITA customers, and from export compliance experts, ITA has just released a new version of the CSL API that introduces “Fuzzy Name Search.” Fuzzy Name Search enables a company to search the CSL without knowing the exact spelling of an entity’s name.

This is particularly helpful when searching for names on the CSL that have been transliterated into English from non-Romance languages. Imagine doing business with individuals that have Cyrillic names:  it’s much easier to search the CSL for those names if you are not required to have the spelling exactly right.

Fuzzy Name Search works by including results that exactly match or nearly match the name that is searched and assigning a “score” to those results. Search results are then prioritized by score – the higher the score, the closer the match, so the higher the name appears in the search results. ITA uses Damerau–Levenshtein distance to calculate the score.

Find Entities More Easily With the Current CSL Tools

ITA has also updated the format of the two original text files containing the CSL that companies download from export.gov. If your company downloads these files on an ongoing basis, there are two changes to be aware of that accommodate how the information is now organized.

First, all of the information for an entity is contained in a single row, not multiple rows if the entity has several addresses or alternate names. Second, there are five new fields that provide information found on an entity’s ID such as Nationality and Place of Birth. Please visit the new CSL page on export.gov to get more detailed information.

Finally, to do a quick search for an entity, visit the new CSL search page on export.gov. Search any or all of the lists at once, turn fuzzy name search on or off, and restrict your searches to a particular set of countries.  It’s easy and it’s fast.

ITA continues to open data that helps U.S. companies that are starting to export or looking to expand into new overseas markets. Please provide your feedback on ways we can improve the many APIs we have available.

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New Top Markets Series Provides Data and Analysis to Help U.S. Exporters Compare Opportunities Across Borders

July 14, 2015

Marcus Jadotte is the International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Top Markets Series: A Market Assessment Tool for U.S. ExportersLast year, the United States exported $2.34 trillion worth of goods and services—an all-time record. Exports from the United States in 2014 equaled the entire gross domestic product of Brazil and exceeded all commercial output in India, Italy, or Mexico. What is more, exports are an increasingly important aspect of the U.S. economy. As the significance of exporting grows, the Obama administration and the Department of Commerce is committed to providing the data and analytics U.S. companies need to compete effectively in foreign markets.

To meet this objective, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is leading the NEI Next Initiative, a customer service-driven strategy that is delivering improved information to American businesses to help them win when competing abroad. Of course, winning in foreign markets is often a case of investing resources as strategically as possible – i.e., picking which market to introduce a new product; or choosing whether to expand in one market or focus on opportunities elsewhere. That is why we are proud to release a new product line today: ITA’s Top Markets Series.

The Top Markets Series is a collection of 19 sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using market intelligence and data to inform decision-making. From aircraft parts to civil nuclear energy, green buildings and cloud computing, to media and entertainment, each Top Markets Report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets. The reports combine the unique expertise of ITA’s sector leads in Industry & Analysis with economic data and the views of our staff stationed around the world.  Exporters can access full reports or view individual sections; collectively, the series includes more than 200 pieces of individually-viewable market intelligence.

In addition to U.S. businesses, Top Markets Reports are a tool that federal agencies are using to prioritize export promotion activities and trade policy initiatives. Our efforts will make all of us more efficient, as we target limited resources at those markets and sectors most likely to benefit from U.S. government support. For example, within ITA, we are working to coordinate our trade missions, trade fairs, and International Buyers Program recruitment with the strategic opportunities identified in the Top Markets series.

We anticipate updating ITA’s Top Markets rankings on an ongoing basis and will release new reports annually. Over the next several months, we look forward to hearing feedback from exporters and will incorporate suggestions into next year’s versions of the Top Markets Reports.

To download a full report or view individual case studies within each report, visit http://www.trade.gov/topmarkets.

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U.S. Metropolitan Areas Set Export Highs in 2014

July 9, 2015

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

2014 Metropolitan Area ExportsToday, U.S. businesses are increasingly taking advantage of export opportunities. The data makes it clear. Companies based in the United States that sell their world-class goods to the 96 percent of potential customers who live outside our borders are critical to both the local and national economy. This is evident in today’s release of the 2014 Metropolitan Area Export Overview. The report highlights data on goods exported from U.S. metropolitan areas in 2014. Some of the nation’s most prominent cities are leading in trade and setting new export records.

Metro area exporters are breaking down trade barriers around the world and are expanding their businesses by reaching global markets. Doing so enhances the international competiveness of U.S. firms while also creating more well-paying jobs here at home. U.S. metropolitan area goods exports exceeded $1.44 trillion in 2014, up $36 billion from 2013, and accounted for 89 percent of total U.S. goods exports last year. There were 139 metro areas that registered record goods exports in 2014, and for the first time ever, 161 metropolitan areas each tallied goods exports worth more than $1 billion in 2014.

The energy and excitement metropolitan areas bring throughout the nation is driving creativity and partnerships. U.S. businesses are exporting the quality products of American innovation and hard work to customers across the globe. For example, during the past several years, we have seen a boom in the great city of Houston. For a third consecutive year, the city has ranked number one with total goods exports of $119 billion.

The metropolitan areas of New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Detroit round out the top five metropolitan areas for goods exports. Twenty-nine of the top 50 metropolitan area exporters recorded positive growth in goods exports between 2013 and 2014. Twenty-six of these areas set record export levels last year.

Top 50-ranked metropolitan areas that exhibited particularly high growth in goods exports from 2013 to 2014, included El Paso, Texas (up nearly 40 percent); San Antonio, Texas (nearly 34 percent); Charleston, S.C. (up more than 69 percent); and Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, S.C. (up nearly 25 percent) — each reaching a record for that metro area.

For more information on ITA’s Metropolitan Export Series including a complete methodology and FAQs, visit the Metropolitan Export Series homepage.

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The 2015 Spring Travel Forecast

June 1, 2015

Jennifer Gardner is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs.

Today, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker attended the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW conference where she spoke on the continued strong growth for international travel to the United States.  Secretary Pritzker announced the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast which projects the United States will see 3.8 to 4.6 percent annual growth rates in visitor volume during the 2015-2020 timeframe. By 2020, this growth would produce 96.4 million visitors, an increase of 21 million visitors when compared to 2014.

More than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the nation, and more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries are gathered this week at IPW in Orlando, Florida. This conference is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the United States.

Travel to the United States supported 1.1 million jobs and brought in $221 billion in 2014. As the visitor volume is expected to increase 3.8 percent in 2015, the amount of visitors staying one or more nights is projected to reach 77.6 million.

It’s no surprise that the top two markets generating visitors to the United States are Canada and Mexico. Expected to grow by 6.3 million from 2014 to 2015, Mexico would set another record volume level. Canada is also expecting a 15 percent increase.

The Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate a 49 percent increase in visitors by 2020. With these projections, China would account for the second-largest number of additional visitors behind Mexico.

Europe and South America are also anticipated to realize a 21 and 34 percent increase in visitors to the United States by 2020, respectively.  Europe is projected to reach 16.7 million visitors with the largest growth coming from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. South America will generate nearly 1.9 million more visitors. Visitors from Brazil, the largest source market in the South American region, are expected to increase 38 percent by 2020.

See the full 2015 Spring Travel Forecast at http://travel.trade.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/index.html.

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BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

May 28, 2015

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

BEA’s New Data Tool Provides Fast Access to Trade and Investment Stats for Countries

A new data tool–International Trade and Investment Country Facts Application–on the Bureau of Economic Analysis website gives users a snapshot of statistics on trade and investment between the United States and another country by simply clicking on a world map.

These fast facts at your fingertips can include:

  • Total exports, imports and trade balance between the United States and the country you select.
  • The top five categories of goods and services the United States buys from and sells to that country.
  • Country level data on U.S. direct investment abroad and foreign direct investment in the United States and on the activities of multinational enterprises such as employment and sales.

The country snapshots, or factsheets, also contain charts and can be printed or downloaded to a spreadsheet. The new data tool pulls statistics from BEA’s international data sets on exports, imports, direct investment, and the activities of multinational enterprises into a single easy-to-digest resource. Similar to the BEA’s BEARFACTS regional factsheets for state and regional economic data, the new international factsheets can be used to quickly get up to speed for a business presentation, a news story, or a school research project.

Users select a country from an interactive world map or a searchable menu of countries. The tool generates a country factsheet with graphs and tables showing the latest data on U.S. trade and investment with that country. A PDF of the factsheet is available for easy printing. The tool also provides data tables containing more detailed statistics that can be downloaded in Excel format.

To access the new international data tool, visit http://bea.gov/international/factsheet/. For a video tour of the new data tool, visithttps://youtu.be/xgLdKJV-g2g

This new data tool is just one of the ways that BEA is innovating to better measure the 21st Century economy. Some of the trade data used in the new tool comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, another Commerce Department agency, underscoring the how agencies within Commerce work together to make data even more accessible to the American public.

Providing businesses and individuals with new data tools like these – not only deepens their understanding of the U.S. economy – but also fulfills a strategic goal contained in the Commerce Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.” And, that is to make data even more accessible and easier to use.

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Profile of U.S. Exporters Highlights Contributions of Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

April 8, 2015

Lauren Scott is an international economist in the Office of Trade and Economic Analysis at the International Trade Administration.

Infographic thumbnailYesterday the Census Bureau released its annual Profile of U.S. Importing and Exporting Companies, which details the characteristics of U.S. merchandise trading companies in 2013. The report, a joint project between Census and the International Trade Administration (ITA), includes information on company size, industry sector, geographic location, and export markets. More than 304,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2013, which is a 10 percent increase from 2009, when the National Export Initiative (NEI) was first announced by President Obama.

The Profile especially highlights the role of small businesses in export industries. Small- and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, which are firms with fewer than 500 employees, accounted for 98 percent of the number of U.S. exporters in 2013 and $471 billion in known value of goods exports*. The majority of SME exporters ship goods to at least one of our NAFTA partner countries, Canada or Mexico, with the U.K., China, and Germany, also serving as top markets for SME exports. In fact, the known value of SME exports to Mexico increased by nearly 19 percent between 2012 and 2013. Similarly, SME exports, by value, grew by 5 percent to Colombia during its second year as a U.S. free trade agreement partner. Nearly 21,000 SMEs exported goods to South Korea and more than 14,000 exported to Colombia in 2013, both of which became U.S. free trade partners in 2012.

The majority of U.S. exporters are non-manufacturing firms, and SMEs account for the majority of these non-manufacturing companies. Wholesale trade companies and other non-manufacturing firms made up 76 percent of SME exporters. These SMEs contributed 55 percent of the non-manufacturing sector’s $562 billion in exports. Manufacturing firms account for less than a quarter of U.S. exporters; however, this sector accounted for 60 percent of total known export value in 2013, much of which was generated by large firms.

SMEs can also be a critical driver for economic growth through exports at the state level. In fact, SMEs were responsible for more than half of known goods exports in Montana, Rhode Island, Florida, Wyoming, New York, Hawaii, and Maine. Texas added nearly 700 SME exporters in 2013, which represented the largest increase in total exporters by state across the U.S. that year.

Small- and medium-sized firms stand to gain by expanding their reach in the global marketplace. The majority of SMEs (59 percent) exported to a single foreign market in 2013, while the majority of large companies (55 percent) exported to five or more countries. SMEs often face additional trade barriers overseas compared to large companies that use offshore business affiliates to more easily facilitate exports to a target market. Despite these obstacles, almost 93,000 SMEs exported goods to the European Union in 2013, and exports from all companies to the Pacific Rim region increased by $8 billion between 2012 and 2013. Both markets represent opportunities for continued and increasing growth.

Current and future U.S. free trade agreements, including those under negotiation with the EU and through the TPP, will be beneficial for all U.S. companies, especially SMEs, to gain market access to half of the global economy and continue growing America’s export footprint overseas.

For more information, read the full Census report or review ITA’s summary of the report highlights. Also, be sure to check out our infographic .

* “Known value” refers to export transactions that can be linked to a specific company, so in many cases these figures may be underestimated.