The European Union just posted a record trade surplus with the United States (and a record trade deficit with Russia) for the January to May 2018 period

The first estimate for the European Union exports of goods in May 2018 was €160.9 billion, down by 2.7% compared with May 2017 (€165.4 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €160.7 bn, down by 1.4% compared with May 2017 (€163.0 bn). As a result, the European Union recorded a €0.2 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in May 2018, compared with a surplus of €2.3 bn in May 2017. Intra-European Union trade rose to €294.7 bn in May 2018, +1.6% compared with May 2017.

In January to May 2018, the European Union exports of goods rose to €786.6 bn (an increase of 1.5% compared with January-May 2017), while imports rose to €795.7 bn (an increase of 1.6% compared with January-May 2017). As a result, the European Union recorded a deficit of €9.1 bn, compared with a deficit of €8.1 bn in January-May 2017. Intra-European Union trade rose to €1457.3 bn in January-May 2018, +4.6% compared with January-May 2017.

EU Trade chart until May 2018
Source: Eurostat

Continue reading “The European Union just posted a record trade surplus with the United States (and a record trade deficit with Russia) for the January to May 2018 period”

Intra European Union (EU) Trade Statistics for 2017 – Germany was the largest exporter and importer, the Netherlands had the largest surplus and the United Kingdom the largest deficit

Some surprises in Intra European Union (EU) Trade Statistics for 2017: Germany was the largest exporter as expected but unexpectedly also the largest importer. The Netherlands (and not Germany) had the largest trade surplus. The United Kingdom had the largest trade deficit (no trade deal Brexit still on the table?)

EU Trade Balance 2017
Data Source: Eurostat

Here is additional information, the complete dataset and maps,

Continue reading “Intra European Union (EU) Trade Statistics for 2017 – Germany was the largest exporter and importer, the Netherlands had the largest surplus and the United Kingdom the largest deficit”

14 things about U.S. trade and trade tariffs

1. The U.S. has the 13th lowest average tariffs in the world as per the World Trade Organisation

We wrote about average import tariffs or custom duties per country, the United States has the 13th lowest tariffs in the world (out of the 165 members of the World Trade Organization) at only 3.48%.

2. … but the U.S. only charged 1.65% in tariffs in 2017

The WTO number is averaged across all products; the actual tariffs could be different based on the product mix of imports as well as any special trade deals the country may be part of.

In the case of the U.S., the actual import tariff or custom duty was just $38.49 billion or 1.65% of the value of $2.34 trillion in imports in 2017.

3. The U.S. did have a Trade deficit with Canada in 2017

Canada was the largest export market with exports of $282.47 billion in 2017. Canada was also the third largest market for imports behind only China and Mexico with total imports of $299.98 billion and a trade deficit of $17.5 billion. The trade deficit itself with Canada was the 12th largest for the U.S. in 2017.

4. All constituent countries taken together, the European Union was the largest export market for the U.S. in 2017

The U.S. had exports worth $284 billion to the 28 European Union Countries in 2017, beating Canada with $282.5 billion of exports in 2017. Continue reading “14 things about U.S. trade and trade tariffs”

The U.S. and mainland Europe have moved in different directions over the past year on interest rates, equity returns, bond yields and government borrowing

Interest Rates

What a difference a year makes. The Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates thrice (in December, March and June) with a target rate range of 1.75% to 2% now. The Eurozone meanwhile maintains its zero-interest rate policy.

Continue reading “The U.S. and mainland Europe have moved in different directions over the past year on interest rates, equity returns, bond yields and government borrowing”

This is what is likely to happen when the European Central Bank ends bond buying

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced on Wednesday that it will halve its bond buys to 15 billion Euros (from the current 30 billion Euros) a month from October then shut the programme at the end of the year.

Source: European Central Bank

ECB’s balance sheet has increased by 2 trillion Euros since 2015 when it announced its bond buying programme. 2-year yields for most of the Eurozone countries are currently negative and 10-year yields in most cases are lower than that of the United States. The European Central Bank (ECB) is by far the biggest holder of European bonds and the biggest (almost 90%) buyer of the weaker Eurozone (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece) countries debt since 2015. The ECB balance sheet is now over 4.5 trillion Euros, some 45% of Eurozone GDP.

Continue reading “This is what is likely to happen when the European Central Bank ends bond buying”

Unemployment in Europe is lowest since 2008 but is still twice that of the United States

The Euro Area unemployment rate was 8.5% in April 2018, down from 8.6% in March 2018 and from 9.2% in April 2017. This is the lowest since December 2008 but still more than double of the US unemployment rate of 3.9% reported in April (the US unemployment rate further fell to 3.8% in May). The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.1% in April 2018, stable compared with March 2018 and down from 7.8% in April 2017. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since September 2008.

Data Source: Eurostat (for the European Union and Iceland), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (for Switzerland), Office for National Statistics (for the United Kingdom)
Data Source: Eurostat (for the European Union and Iceland), State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (for Switzerland), Office for National Statistics (for the United Kingdom)

Continue reading “Unemployment in Europe is lowest since 2008 but is still twice that of the United States”

European Union Trade Statistics for January to March (Q1) 2018

Key highlights

  • The total trade surplus for the European Union increased from €15.6 bn in Q1 2017 to €19.1 bn in Q1 2018, total exports were 1.34 trillion and total imports were 1.33 trillion
  • 10 of the 28 European Union countries had a trade surplus in Q1 2018 and 18 had a trade deficit
  • Germany had the largest trade surplus in Q1 2018 at €62.2 bn, Netherlands at €15.8 bn and Ireland at €12.4 bn
  • The United Kingdom had the largest trade deficit in Q1 2018 at €41.1 bn, France at €21.2 bn and Spain at €7.9 bn

Continue reading “European Union Trade Statistics for January to March (Q1) 2018”

Iran trade with the US and Europe; Euro area consumer credit growth; Almost 3% coupon on 10-year Treasury bond; US yield curve inversion vs Euro area curve yield inversion

So, the US exits the Iran nuclear deal. The business impact of it?

Not much at all for the US. But a very major impact for Europe.

US exports to Iran
2015 exports were $282 million, 2016 were down to $172 million and 2017 were further down to $138 million

Iran exports to the US
Just $64 million in 2017

European exports to Iran
€10.8 billion ($12.80 billion) in 2017, has grown 10-fold since 2015

Iran exports to Europe
€10.14 billion ($12.02 billion) in 2017, has grown 10-fold since 2015 Continue reading “Iran trade with the US and Europe; Euro area consumer credit growth; Almost 3% coupon on 10-year Treasury bond; US yield curve inversion vs Euro area curve yield inversion”

Highlights from April 2018

Here are highlights from April 2018,

Our three most read posts in April 2018

1. Alphabet (the parent company of Google) spent the most as a company on lobbying. Facebook’s spend on lobbying increased 5500% since 2009. They spent most lobbying on changes to … data privacy (Click here to read).

2. This is what has happened to the unemployment rate in the US four to eight months before every recession since the 1940s and why it matters now (Click here to read).

3. Not an April Fools’ Day joke – this really is how the US Dollar has performed against each currency of the world over the past one year (Click here to read). Continue reading “Highlights from April 2018”