<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify three factors that influence a country's level of trade
  • Differentiate between balance of trade and level of trade

A nation’s level of trade may at first sound like much the same issue as the balance of trade, but these two are actually quite separate. It is perfectly possible for a country to have a very high level of trade —measured by its exports of goods and services as a share of its GDP—while it also has a near-balance between exports and imports. A high level of trade indicates that a good portion of the nation’s production is exported. It is also possible for a country’s trade to be a relatively low share of GDP, relative to global averages, but for the imbalance between its exports and its imports to be quite large. This general theme was emphasized earlier in Measuring Trade Balances , which offered some illustrative figures on trade levels and balances.

A country’s level of trade tells how much of its production it exports. This is measured by the percent of exports out of GDP. It indicates how globalized an economy is. Some countries, such as Germany, have a high level of trade—they export almost 50% of their total production. The balance of trade tells us if the country is running a trade surplus or trade deficit. A country can have a low level of trade but a high trade deficit. (For example, the United States only exports 14% of GDP, but it has a trade deficit of $540 billion.)

Three factors strongly influence a nation’s level of trade: the size of its economy, its geographic location, and its history of trade. Large economies like the United States can do much of their trading internally, while small economies like Sweden have less ability to provide what they want internally and tend to have higher ratios of exports and imports to GDP. Nations that are neighbors tend to trade more, since costs of transportation and communication are lower. Moreover, some nations have long and established patterns of international trade, while others do not.

Consequently, a relatively small economy like Sweden, with many nearby trading partners across Europe and a long history of foreign trade, has a high level of trade. Brazil and India, which are fairly large economies that have often sought to inhibit trade in recent decades, have lower levels of trade. Whereas, the United States and Japan are extremely large economies that have comparatively few nearby trading partners. Both countries actually have quite low levels of trade by world standards. The ratio of exports to GDP in either the United States or in Japan is about half of the world average.

The balance of trade is a separate issue from the level of trade. The United States has a low level of trade, but had enormous trade deficits for most years from the mid-1980s into the 2000s. Japan has a low level of trade by world standards, but has typically shown large trade surpluses in recent decades. Nations like Germany and the United Kingdom have medium to high levels of trade by world standards, but Germany had a moderate trade surplus in 2008, while the United Kingdom had a moderate trade deficit. Their trade picture was roughly in balance in the late 1990s. Sweden had a high level of trade and a large trade surplus in 2007, while Mexico had a high level of trade and a moderate trade deficit that same year.

Questions & Answers

what is the meaning of money and inflation
Tinuke Reply
what is a bar chart
Godwin Reply
what's economic
John Reply
what is the meaning of imperfect market structure
Hoyindamolah Reply
the theroy of demand
Tinuke
what is market economy
Jusu Reply
Market Economy:Is a system where the laws of supply and those demand direct the production of goods and services.
Iyabo
what is the meaning of money and inflation
Tinuke
what's demand in economics?
Abi Reply
Demand in economic is the good a consumer is willing or able to purchase at a particular time
Hoyindamolah
explanation of graph,bar chart,pie chart with examples
Abdulmojeed
4. Assume, after completing your economics class, you explain your friend that about 65% of GDP is spending on consumption. Your friend tells you that people are greedy and it is better for GDP if they spend on services or experiences. What would be your answer to your friend?
Javohir Reply
What is power
Ahmad Reply
how can I choose a model for analyzing primary data?
Dipsikha Reply
economics is science because it used sciencetific ways in solving it problem
Mhizz
Is economics a science, more expanciate
Saliman Reply
yh because it adopts scientific methods in research and analysis of economic issues
maame
Analyse Eskom in terms of the characteristics of a monopoly
Brilliant Reply
microeconomics deals with individuals and firms while macroeconomics deal with the activities of the society in large
C-Stixxs Reply
Morning guys I need questions under any topic in economics
C-Stixxs
what is your question
Shalom
what definition did Adams Smith gave about economic
maame
why Economics is science
Fixed Reply
Ok
Olamilekan
what is economic
Arome Reply
is a science which studies human behavior as a relationship with ends n scarce which have alternative uses
C-Stixxs
Explain four reason why scale of preference is necessery
Afusat Reply
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Shanjida
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
s.
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
Equilibrium price is a stable price and it must stay.discuss
Elvis Reply
Card 14 / 21: What are the similarities between a consumer’s budget constraint and society’s production possibilities frontier, not just graphically but analytically?
Ali Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now




Source:  OpenStax, Principles of macroeconomics for ap® courses. OpenStax CNX. Aug 24, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11864/1.2
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Principles of macroeconomics for ap® courses' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask