We will be publishing a number of statistics for the United Kingdom (and the European Union) over the next few days in the run up to a major piece we will be publishing on the real economics of Brexit.
The European Union (EU28 or EU) accounted for around one sixth of world trade in goods in 2016, with a 16.3% share of exports and a 15.0% share of imports. Turning to services the EU28’s contribution to world trade (mainly due to the United Kingdom which is leaving the European Union) was even greater, totalling 24.7% of exports and 21.1% of imports.
The EU28’s share of world trade in goods was the largest in terms of exports, with China having almost exactly the same share (16.2%), and second largest in terms of imports, behind the United States (18.3%). The United States had the third largest share of world exports of goods and China the third largest share of imports, with Japan recording the fourth largest shares for both exports and imports. Canada and South Korea had the fifth and sixth largest shares of exports and import of goods, with Canada having more imports and South Korea more exports, while Mexico had the seventh largest share.
The EU28 ran a trade surplus for goods equal to EUR 22.9 billion in 2017. In 2017, the EU28 had relatively large trade deficits with China (EUR 176 billion) and Russia (EUR 59 billion), and smaller ones with several other Asian countries: Japan, Indonesia, India and South Korea. The EU28 had trade surpluses larger than EUR 10 billion with Australia, Turkey, Mexico and Saudi Arabia while its largest trade surplus for goods was with the United States (EUR 120 billion).
In 2017, the EU28’s largest trade partner (exports and imports combined) for goods among G20 members was the United States, followed by China, Russia, Turkey and Japan, all with total trade in excess of EUR 100 billion. The EU28’s main export market outside of the G20 was Switzerland which was the destination for 8.0% of the EU28’s exports in 2017. Switzerland (5.9%) and Norway (4.2%) provided the largest shares of the EU28’s imports from countries outside of the G20.
As already noted, the EU28 was the world’s largest exporter and importer of services in 2016: extra-EU exports were valued at EUR 845 billion and imports at EUR 712 billion, resulting in a trade surplus for services of EUR 133 billion.
The EU28 had trade surpluses for services in 2016 with all G20 members except for Turkey, India and the United States.
The European Union (EU28) currently includes Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.