us-china trade data

  • Some politicians and pundits say that China’s holding the yuan undervalued is a major cause of the bi-lateral US-China trade deficit (the U.S. imports far more from China than it exports to China).  Yet our simple graph does not show an inverse relationship between the value of the yuan and the trade balance; instead of falling as the yuan appreciates (as we would expect from such an inverse relationship), the trade balance has continued to grow, except in 2009 (when U.S. imports fell about 12% as the economy crashed – exports to China were about flat).

  • Click on the figure to enlarge it.  Please feel free to republish the figure; source FutureofUSChinaTrade.com with a link back to this page.

    Some politicians and pundits say that the fact that China holds the value of its currency, the yuan, relatively undervalued compared to the U.S. dollar creates unemployment in the U.S. (because it makes American exports relatively less competitive) – they expect to see an inverse relationship between the value of the yuan and the U.S. unemployment rate (when the yuan appreciates, the unemployment rate should fall).

  • The yuan-dollar exchange rate indexed to July 21, 2005.  Shows the percentage change in the yuan-dollar exchange rate since July 21, 2005 when China began its initial period of yuan appreciation.  From the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

  • The United States trade balance with China (total exports of goods to China minus total imports of goods from China) monthly from January 2008 to November 2011.  A negative trade balance, a trade deficit, shows that the U.S. imported more goods from China than it exported to China.  Every month during this period the U.S. maintained a trade deficit with China, which was just under $27 billion (in nominal terms) in November 2011.  Data fluctuations are due in part to seasonality.  These data do not include services.  From the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division.

  • Official foreign exchange reserve claims held by emerging and developing economies in U.S. dollars, euros, Japanese yen, pounds sterling, and other currencies as a percentage of total allocated foreign exchange reserve claims. From 1999 to 2010.  From the IMF Statistics Department COFER database and International Financial Statistics.

  • Official foreign exchange reserve claims held by advanced economies in U.S. dollars, euros, Japanese yen, pounds sterling, and other currencies as a percentage of total allocated foreign exchange reserve claims. From 1999 to 2010.  From the IMF Statistics Department COFER database and International Financial Statistics.

  • Official foreign exchange reserve claims held worldwide in U.S. dollars, euros, Japanese yen, pounds sterling, and other currencies as a percentage of total allocated foreign exchange reserve claims. From 1999 to 2010.  From the IMF Statistics Department COFER database and International Financial Statistics.

  • Shows official foreign exchange reserves claims in U.S. dollars (as a percentage of allocated reserves) by total worldwide claims, advanced economies claims, and emerging economies claims.  From 1999 to 2010.  The chart reveals the change in U.S. dollar forex claims by type of economy over time.  From the IMF Statistics Department COFER database and International Financial Statistics.

  • The United States trade balance with China (total exports of goods to China minus total imports of goods from China) annually from 1985 to 2010.  A negative trade balance, a trade deficit, shows that the U.S. imported more goods from China than it exported to China.  These data do not include services.  Since 1985, the U.S. has maintained an annual trade deficit with China, which reached just over $273 billion (in nominal terms) in 2010.  From the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division.

  • Net direct investment flows in China (inward direct investment minus outward direct investment), presented annually from 1982 to 2015.  In billions of US$.  From the International Monetary Fund (IMF) International Financial Statistics. Derived from lines 78bed and 78bdd in the IFS. 2011-2015 forecasts by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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