Mapped: Visualizing the World's Largest Exporters in 2018
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Mapped: The World’s Largest Exporters in 2018

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The World's Largest Exporters in 2018

Visualizing the World’s Largest Exporters in 2018

Trillions of dollars of goods get traded around the world every year.

In 2018, total global exports exceeded $19 trillion, including specialized goods falling into almost every possible category imaginable.

Whether you’re talking about German cars, Bangladeshi t-shirts, Saudi oil, or Swiss milk chocolate, just about anything is available on the world market for a price – and the world’s largest exporting countries aim to take advantage.

Ranked: The 15 Largest Exporters in 2018

Today’s visualization comes to us from HowMuch.net, and it resizes countries based on their most recent export numbers, as per data from the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Let’s take a look at how the field breaks down:

RankCountryExports (2018, $M)Share of Global Total
#1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China$2,487,04512.8%
#2๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States$1,664,0858.6%
#3๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany$1,560,8168.0%
#4๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$738,4033.8%
#5๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands$722,6683.7%
#6๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Korea, Rep.$604,8603.1%
#7๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France$581,8163.0%
#8๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong, China$569,2412.9%
#9๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$546,6432.8%
#10๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom$485,7112.5%
#11๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium$466,7242.4%
#12๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico$450,5722.3%
#13๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada$449,8452.3%
#14๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia$444,0082.3%
#15๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore$412,6292.1%

Leading the list of the world’s largest exporters is China, with a whopping $2.5 trillion of goods sent abroad in 2018. If you add in Hong Kong’s numbers, China holds 15.7% of the global export total โ€” roughly equal to Japan, Netherlands, South Korea, France, and Singapore combined.

Coming next on the list is the U.S., which exports about $1.7 trillion of goods each year. After that comes Germany, which is the only other country to export over $1 trillion of goods per year.

Comparing U.S. and Chinese Exports

What does China export, and how does that compare to a more developed economy such as the United States?

Using data from MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity, we can see the broad breakdown of exports in both countries:

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China (Exports)Share ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S. (Exports)Share
Machines48.5%Machines22.1%
Textiles9.9%Transportation14.9%
Metals7.1%Chemical Products13.7%
Chemical Products4.9%Mineral Products11.4%
Plastics and Rubbers4.0%Instruments6.8%
Instruments3.2%Plastics and Rubbers5.5%
Transportation3.2%Vegetable Products5.1%
Footwear and Headwear2.6%Metals4.8%
Stone and Glass1.7%Foodstuffs3.3%
Mineral Products1.3%Precious Metals3.1%
Animal Hides1.2%Animal Products2.2%
Other/Misc12.4%Paper Goods2.1%
Textiles1.7%
Other/Misc3.3%

On first glance, it’s clear that China’s exports are reliant on one heavy-hitting category (Machines) to drive a whopping 48.5% of total export value. Within that broad category of machines, there are many narrower categories, including:

  • Broadcasting equipment (9.6% of total exports)
  • Computers (6.1%)
  • Office machine parts (3.8%)
  • Integrated circuits (3.3%)
  • Telephones (2.6%)
  • Electrical transformers (1.3%)
  • Semiconductor devices (1.2%)
  • Video displays (1.1%)

For the United States, machines are still important at 22.1% of exports, but three other broad categories also surpass the 10% mark: transportation, chemical products, and mineral products. This means the U.S. is generally more diversified in its major exports.

For more, see the largest export of each state on this map.

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Mapped: GDP Growth Forecasts by Country, in 2023

The global economy faces an uncertain future in 2023. This year, GDP growth is projected to be 2.9%โ€”down from 3.2% in 2022.

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GDP Growth

Mapped: GDP Growth Forecasts by Country, in 2023

This was originally posted on Advisor Channel. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on financial markets that help advisors and their clients.

Since Russiaโ€™s invasion of Ukraine early last year, talk of global recession has dominated the outlook for 2023.

High inflation, spurred by rising energy costs, has tested GDP growth. Tightening monetary policy in the U.S., with interest rates jumping from roughly 0% to over 4% in 2022, has historically preceded a downturn about one to two years later.

For European economies, energy prices are critical. The good news is that prices have fallen recently since March highs, but the continent remains on shaky ground.

The above infographic maps GDP growth forecasts by country for the year ahead, based on projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) October 2022 Outlook and January 2023 update.

2023 GDP Growth Outlook

The world economy is projected to see just 2.9% GDP growth in 2023, down from 3.2% projected for 2022.

This is a 0.2% increase since the October 2022 Outlook thanks in part to Chinaโ€™s reopening, higher global demand, and slowing inflation projected across certain countries in the year ahead.

With this in mind, we show GDP growth forecasts for 191 jurisdictions given multiple economic headwindsโ€”and a few emerging bright spots in 2023.

Country / Region2023 Real GDP % Change (Projected)
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Albania2.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด Angola3.4%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Antigua and Barbuda5.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina*2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Armenia3.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ผ Aruba2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia*1.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria1.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Azerbaijan2.5%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain3.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh6.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ง Barbados5.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ Belarus0.2%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium0.4%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ Belize2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ Benin6.2%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡น Bhutan4.3%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ด Bolivia3.2%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ Bosnia and Herzegovina2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ Botswana4.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil*1.2%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei Darussalam3.3%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria3.0%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ Burkina Faso4.8%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ Burundi4.1%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ป Cabo Verde4.8%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Cameroon4.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia6.2%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada*1.5%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ซ Central African Republic3.0%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ Chad3.4%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile-1.0%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China*5.3%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia2.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Comoros3.4%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica2.9%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Cรดte d'Ivoire6.5%
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia3.5%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus2.5%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic1.5%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Democratic Republic of the Congo6.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark0.6%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ Djibouti5.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Dominica4.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ด Dominican Republic4.5%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ Ecuador2.7%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt*4.0%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ป El Salvador1.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถ Equatorial Guinea-3.1%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท Eritrea2.9%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia1.8%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Eswatini1.8%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น Ethiopia5.3%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ Fiji6.9%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland0.5%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France*0.7%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ North Macedonia3.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Gabon3.7%
Georgia4.0%
Germany*0.1%
Ghana2.8%
Greece1.8%
Grenada3.6%
Guatemala3.2%
Guinea5.1%
Guinea-Bissau4.5%
Guyana25.2%
Haiti0.5%
Honduras3.5%
Hong Kong SAR3.9%
Hungary1.8%
Iceland2.9%
India*6.1%
Indonesia*4.8%
Iraq4.0%
Ireland4.0%
Iran*2.0%
Israel3.0%
Italy*0.6%
Jamaica3.0%
Japan*1.8%
Jordan2.7%
Kazakhstan*4.3%
Kenya5.1%
Kiribati2.4%
South Korea*1.7%
Kosovo3.5%
Kuwait2.6%
Kyrgyz Republic3.2%
Lao P.D.R.3.1%
Latvia1.6%
Lesotho1.6%
Liberia4.2%
Libya17.9%
Lithuania1.1%
Luxembourg1.1%
Macao SAR56.7%
Madagascar5.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ Malawi2.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia*4.4%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป Maldives6.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Mali5.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta3.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ญ Marshall Islands3.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท Mauritania4.8%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ Mauritius5.4%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico*1.7%
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Micronesia2.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova2.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mongolia5.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช Montenegro2.5%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Morocco3.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Mozambique4.9%
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Myanmar3.3%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Namibia3.2%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ท Nauru2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต Nepal5.0%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands*0.6%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand1.9%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Nicaragua3.0%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช Niger7.3%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria*3.2%
๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒ Oman4.1%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan*2.0%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ผ Palau12.3%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆ Panama4.0%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ Papua New Guinea5.1%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พ Paraguay4.3%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines*5.0%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland*0.3%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal0.7%
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท Puerto Rico0.4%
๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar2.4%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Republic of Congo4.6%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania3.1%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia*0.3%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ Rwanda6.7%
๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ Samoa4.0%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ San Marino0.8%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡น Sรฃo Tomรฉ and Prรญncipe2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia*2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ Senegal8.1%
๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia2.7%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ Seychelles5.2%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Sierra Leone3.3%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore2.3%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovak Republic1.5%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia1.7%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง Solomon Islands2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ด Somalia3.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa*1.2%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ South Sudan5.6%
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain*1.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri Lanka-3.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ณ St. Kitts and Nevis4.8%
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡จ St. Lucia5.8%
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จ St. Vincent and the Grenadines6.0%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Sudan2.6%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท Suriname2.3%
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden-0.1%
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland0.8%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan2.8%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ Tajikistan4.0%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ Tanzania5.2%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand*3.7%
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ The Bahamas4.1%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ The Gambia6.0%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ Timor-Leste4.2%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ Togo6.2%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด Tonga2.9%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น Trinidad and Tobago3.5%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ Tunisia1.6%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkey*3.0%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ Turkmenistan2.3%
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ป Tuvalu3.5%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Uganda5.9%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ UkraineN/A
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช United Arab Emirates4.2%
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom*-0.6%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฒ U.S.*1.4%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ Uruguay3.6%
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Uzbekistan4.7%
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ Vanuatu3.1%
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช Venezuela6.5%
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam6.2%
West Bank and Gaza3.5%
๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช Yemen3.3%
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Zambia4.0%
๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ Zimbabwe2.8%

*Reflect updated figures from the January 2023 IMF Update.

The U.S. is forecast to see 1.4% GDP growth in 2023, up from 1.0% seen in the last October projection.

Still, signs of economic weakness can be seen in the growing wave of tech layoffs, foreshadowed as a white-collar or โ€˜Patagonia-vestโ€™ recession. Last year, 88,000 tech jobs were cut and this trend has continued into 2023. Major financial firms have also followed suit. Still, unemployment remains fairly steadfast, at 3.5% as of December 2022. Going forward, concerns remain around inflation and the path of interest rate hikes, though both show signs of slowing.

Across Europe, the average projected GDP growth rate is 0.7% for 2023, a sharp decline from the 2.1% forecast for last year.

Both Germany and Italy are forecast to see slight growth, at 0.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Growth forecasts were revised upwards since the IMF’s October release. However, an ongoing energy crisis exposes the manufacturing sector to vulnerabilities, with potential spillover effects to consumers and businesses, and overall Euro Area growth.

China remains an open question. In 2023, growth is predicted to rise 5.2%, higher than many large economies. While its real estate sector has shown signs of weakness, the recent opening on January 8th, following 1,016 days of zero-Covid policy, could boost demand and economic activity.

A Long Way to Go

The IMF has stated that 2023 will feel like a recession for much of the global economy. But whether it is headed for a recovery or a sharper decline remains unknown.

Today, two factors propping up the global economy are lower-than-expected energy prices and resilient private sector balance sheets. European natural gas prices have sunk to levels seen before the war in Ukraine. During the height of energy shocks, firms showed a notable ability to withstand astronomical energy prices squeezing their finances. They are also sitting on significant cash reserves.

On the other hand, inflation is far from over. To counter this effect, many central banks will have to use measures to rein in prices. This may in turn have a dampening effect on economic growth and financial markets, with unknown consequences.

As economic data continues to be released over the year, there may be a divergence between consumer sentiment and whether things are actually changing in the economy. Where the economy is heading in 2023 will be anyone’s guess.

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