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Ups And Downs: OECD trade figures

by afew 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.

I wish they'd disaggregate the EU countries' figures into intra-EU and external trade.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jan 27th, 2010 at 01:12:49 PM EST
Sure, but they're doing G7 here. Not that G7 means anything like EU.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 27th, 2010 at 03:35:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OECD say (pdf) their stats aren't compatible with Eurostat's Intrastat series.

There can be methodological differences, which make precise comparison of these statistics impossible.

I don't like Eurostat's site makeover (have a job getting stats from the dbase), but in their pre-defined tables section there's this set of tables on trade.


  • Share of trade with the EU27
  • Intra-EU27 trade by MS
  • Extra-EU27 trade by MS

The graph function is not so great, but the interactive map is quite nice.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 03:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a good site for economic indicators and trade charts and figures - also gives eurozone data.
It's constantly updated and has a helluva-convenient data selector on the left ;)

For instance:
Eurozone balance of trade with chart from Jan 08 to Dec 09 , figures from Jan 06 on...
US ditto

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 12:01:52 AM EST
Nice to see you, ecb, and thanks for the tip!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 01:54:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany is the only economy shown with a positive balance of merchandise trade. I presume China has a positive balance and, from the pdf, Japan certainly does. Canada seems to be the only country that is close to balance on merchandise trade. Does merchandise include mining and agricultural products? I would think so.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 12:43:26 AM EST
Yes. It's all goods, except

Goods to be excluded in the detailed international trade statistics:

- Monetary gold, direct transit trade, temporary imports and exports, transactions in second-hand ships and aircraft, stores and bunkers for ships and aircraft; goods treated as part of trade in services; goods for repair.

From Definitions (pdf).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jan 28th, 2010 at 02:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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