What is international trade?

International trade is the movement of goods across national borders. Because bilateral exchange rates change frequently, international trade is watched closely by national and supranational governments. Small changes in currency pair spreads can impact the movement of goods across borders and, as a consequence, the health of a nation's domestic industry and its employment levels.

How do organizations measure international trade?

Physical goods (commodity trade) are tracked by governments when they enter various economic and trade zones within an economy. This tracking is done systematically and results in enormous quantities of data that need to be processed and stored. Service trade levels are calculated through a variety of methods that can include survey collection and analysis, as well as methodologies used to construct estimates of internal production. Both commodity and services trade tracking and analysis are data intensive activities made more efficient and accurate when conducted by experienced trade savvy employees and contractors.

Who manages trade data?

Trade data is typically collected, processed, and maintained by national level statistics agencies. These agencies work sometimes in harmony with national and supranational level banks and statistics agencies, as well as with international banks and statistics agencies. Universities also often maintain trade databases, and work with trade data. The many different organizations working with trade data under the many different rules and regulations make the field particularly well-suited for data scientists and data-focused organizations, because working with trade data across borders and between mainstream statistics agencies can be very complex.