The EU is a well-known group of countries with very active trade, and probably its role as global trade hub keeps strengthening, even with the US approaching energy self-sufficiency and China playing as the World’s factory.
I analyzed some data, on this topic, that I found really interesting: When we think about Japan and China the idea of big exporters comes out of our minds, but Europe seems to be more worthy of this motto.
In the following .gif image, I created a comparison of the value of exports of goods and services (as % of GDP), between the EU, the US, China and Japan, from 2004 to 2012.
Here is how it looks:
(The topic is about Europe, that’s why is so big compared with the US and China. Japan seems also too massive, but otherwise we would not even find it.)
I though it would be interesting to present data to all EU-countries, so I did it above.
But to be more comprehensive, the following graph refers only to the 4 tycoons – EU, US, Japan, China:
What do you think? It’s pretty obvious that the European Union is an historical exporter, but this role seems to get bigger, specially if we compare with China. There, the share of exports on Chinese wealth, in the aftermaths of the global financial crisis, didn’t recovered.
This post is not complete without taking a look to the overall trade balance of goods and services. So, I present you 2 graphs – the first one refers to trade balance in 2012, the second one, takes a look to the evolution of trade balance since the economies collapsed in 2009). In the middle of the 32 countries, i highlighted the US, EU, China and Japan in red bars.
About this one: China and the EU, registering surpluses. The US and Japan registering deficits. Inside the EU, the trade balance is in better shape in Central and Eastern Europe than in Western and Southern Europe.
The second graph:
OK, so here we have another collection of data that supports my point of view. In fact, Europe seems to be increasingly replacing China as the net exporter.
I really think that all austerity measures on track in Europe, that re-sized internal consumption and devalued European assets is pushing for a brighter future to the Old continent, as a stronger and stronger inflow of cash keeps arriving.
All data is from the World Bank, except some recent data about Cyprus what was only available in the ECB website.
Any doubt contact me.