Net Exports as a Percentage of GDP Over Time

A Tweet claims trade makes up close to 30% of GDP today vs. 19.8% in 1990. Let's investigate the claim.

The Tweet makes the claim by adding up real exports and real imports and divides the total by real GDP. I created a chart in Fred.

(Real Exports + Real Imports) / Real GDP

I confirm the numbers but the idea seems silly. Why?

Exports add to GDP while imports subtract from GDP.

(Real Exports - Real Imports) / Real GDP

(Real Exports - Real Imports) / Real GDP Details

The chart shows NET exports as a percentage of GDP.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

What's the relation of exports to GDP?

More clearly, how has the ratio of exports to GDP varied over time?

It's not silly. This is a measure of globalization.

The ratio of our total foreign trade to our total domestic economic activity. Carried to a logical extreme, we'll all be sitting on our butts in another three generations exchanging IOUs for foreign goods and services, mostly Chinese and Indian..

gdp growth (lol) driven by trifecta of a trillion plus in student loans,CC,auto's,multi trillions in gov't borrowing/printing