Wed Jan 27th, 2010 at 09:48:44 AM EST
An OECD press release today details G7 trade figures over the recession and into Q3 2009. Here comes the Big Dipper and the oof! up we go again, a nice reassuring U-shape.
(Note: this is trade in goods; services show a somewhat flatter profile).
As they note, trade remains well below the levels of mid-2008.
Below the fold, an interesting series by country covering the blue rectangle in the bottom right corner of that graph above, and from which I've cherry-picked. Says the press release:
However, the U-shaped pattern for G7 countries shows distinct differences in trends in net balances. Increasing positive trade balances for Germany and Japan contrast with increasing negative balances for France and Italy. The United States and the United Kingdom broadly maintained their negative trade balance.
Yes, these show a recent tendency for French exports to level off, and for Germany to increase its positive balance (considerably at the expense of imports, though what that might mean in terms of domestic consumption isn't entered into). Also that the UK and US maintain a pretty regular merchandise trade deficit. (No similar charts are offered for services).
The differences in the Y-axis, though, make these charts difficult to compare. A rough calculation of the percentage of the balance (negative or positive) in the total volume of merchandise trade (imports + exports) for Q3 2009 suggests that the G7 as a whole was at -5%, Germany at +13%, France at -9%, the UK at -14%, and the US at -19%.
This is not meant to be a hugely significant metric, just a quick rule-of-thumb comparison. And, of course, there are exporting countries and importing countries, and services are not included, etc, so caveat.
The PR can be downloaded in pdf here.