Balance of trade
The balance of trade, commercial balance, or net exports (sometimes symbolized as NX), is the difference between the monetary value of a nation's
If a country exports a greater value than it imports, it has a trade surplus or positive balance, and conversely, if a country imports a greater value than it exports, it has a trade deficit or negative balance. The notion that bilateral trade deficits are bad in and of themselves is overwhelmingly rejected by trade experts and economists.
The balance of trade forms part of the
The trade balance is identical to the difference between a country's output and its domestic demand (the difference between what goods a country produces and how many goods it buys from abroad; this does not include money re-spent on foreign stock, nor does it factor in the concept of importing goods to produce for the domestic market).
Measuring the balance of trade can be problematic because of problems with recording and collecting data. As an illustration of this problem, when official data for all the world's countries are added up, exports exceed imports by almost 1%; it appears the world is running a positive balance of trade with itself. This cannot be true, because all transactions involve an equal
Factors that can affect the balance of trade include:
In addition, the trade balance is likely to differ across the
The monetary balance of trade is different from the physical balance of trade (which is expressed in amount of raw materials, known also as Total Material Consumption). Developed countries usually import a lot of raw materials from developing countries. Typically, these imported materials are transformed into finished products, and might be exported after adding value. Financial trade balance statistics conceal material flow. Most developed countries have a large physical trade deficit, because they consume more raw materials than they produce. Many[