We will be publishing a number of statistics for the United Kingdom over the next few days in the run up to a major piece we will be publishing on the real economics of Brexit. In the meanwhile, here are trade statistics for the United Kingdom for 2016 (the latest full year of data available) sourced from the Office for National Statistics.
The top 5 countries for total trade value were Germany (£95.67 billion), the United States (£84.09 billion), the Netherlands (£53.93 billion), China (£52.51 billion) and France (£44.40 billion)
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.
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?)
Here is additional information, the complete dataset and maps,
Everyone seems to be focussing on the equity markets recently, but equity markets haven’t really moved much over the past one month. Over the past month, major equity markets have lost between 1.5% to 4%.
The real action is in bonds and commodities. And trade seems to be flourishing too.
10-year government bond yields of major economies are lower by 5% to 40% (in relative terms not absolute terms) in just the past month. 10-year German bonds are down 12 bps over the past month. That wouldn’t sound much but they are down 28% from 42 bps to 30 bps. U.K. yields are down 8%, U.S. yields down 5%, Japanese yields down 40%. Even Greek yields are down 20% over just the past month. Does the market anticipate a pause in interest rate rises? It would appear so.
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
We wrote about the average import tariffs or custom duties per country recently. That data set was sourced from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and it showed that the average import tariff or custom duty for the United States is currently 3.48%. We did mention that 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.