I wondered if it was possible for all countries to have a Trade Surplus - which turns out to be impossible because the total value of imports in the world must be equal to the total value of exports in the world - because one country's export is another's import, and vice-vera. With this information, I can make 2 assumptions:
- All countries cannot have a trade surplus simultaneously.
- The total trade surplus in the world (sum of C.A.B. of all countries with positive C.A.B.) must be equal to the total deficit. Inversely, the sum of C.A.B. of all countries must be zero.
I looked at the data for the Current Account Balance (2017 estimate) for all countries, from CIA World Factbook. However, contradictory to my assumption, here's what I observed:
Total Surplus (excluding EU from the list) =
Total Deficit =
Net Balance = Surplus + Deficit =
A positive net balance should point out that the world has a net trade surplus - which I wouldn't expect. This can arise because of incorrect assumptions, flawed data or errors in calculation.
My question is about why I make this observation, or if my assumption is wrong, why and what does the data actually mean?