Friday, March 25, 2016

Of little import

To do any kind of analysis on a series of small dependencies that nobody expected to be hives of commerce, one could look at the few places that don't appear on both lists. Tonga is the largest 'under ten million dollars in exports' economy so where does it place in terms of imports? Using the same chart - you'll see why in a minute - 'not that far ahead', being just outside the list along with Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, and exports to the value of $139,000,000.
Norfolk Island, meanwhile, can't be much of an exporter as it doesn't appear on the list at all.

As far as choosing your lists goes, the hyperlink to Nauru as an exporter shows the World Trade Organisation (or at least an old chart of theirs used in Wikipedia) to be quite at odds with the OEC
Nauru is the 198th largest export economy in the world. In 2013, Nauru exported $57.4M and imported $126M, resulting in a negative trade balance of $69.6M.

Neither of these organisations are paid to guess; they are heavily invested in the material they deal with.

How does an economy with six hundred and forty bucks GDP per capita fare? $138,900,000 in exports and $237,300,000 in imports for the Central African Republic.

Tiny Tuvalu without a GDP to its name is already on the list while Djibouti and Mozambique have, respectively, $90,800,000 exports/$644,000,000 imports and $3,920,000,000 exports/$3,520,000,000 imports

It's pick on Venezuela week so lets reveal (through 2012 estimates!) that they have $83,200,000,000 in exports, making them a respectable 43rd on the list of highest exporters. What's more, it's higher than their $59,310,000,000 in imports; this is normally good news. Being the forty eighth biggest importer only serves to place them with the giants or near giants.
I have a feeling that Afghanistan, while well on the road to recovery, can be grouped here rather than with the mature and robust economies: $376,000,000 exports and $6,390,000,000 in imports; this is normally bad news when there is six billion more in import than export.

If high school Economics and Consumer Education failed to fill the gaps in those other categories, don't expect Business Principles and Practice of a similar vintage to do more than conjure the skill of creating a spreadsheet prior to the days of Microsoft Excel. Other than a broad layman observation that the highest and lowest importers and exporters are the same while there's considerable play in the middle, I wouldn't know what to make of this. I'd imagine we'd have to go ages back and find those posts on population sizes since importing is based on demand. Exporting is more related to the kind of foodstuff and such that are naturally found in a country, or can be easily grown or farmed there.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Skimp ought and little Ex-port

It turns out that those small dots on the globe are neither big exporters or importers so your chances of getting Tokelau honey are remote given that it exports nothing at all. But then there's not much of a market if I in turn want to interest them in some items from here.

If you're a prospective business or grower, rather than a speculator, you might want to know who those 'isle pass' are


  1. Tokelau $0
  2. Wallis and Futuna $47,450
  3. Nauru $64,000
  4. Niue $201.400
  5. Tuvalu $600,000
  6. Montserrat $3,600,000
  7. Cook Islands $5,222,000
  8. Saint Pierre and Miquelon $6,641,000
  9. Kiribati $7,066,000
  10. Tonga $9,100,000


  1. Tokelau $969,200
  2. Niue $9,038,000
  3. Tuvalu $12,910,000
  4. Montserrat $17,000,000
  5. Norfolk Island $17,900,000
  6. Nauru $20,000,000
  7. Saint Helena $45,000,000
  8. Wallis and Futuna $61,170,000
  9. Kiribati $62,000,000
  10. Saint Pierre and Miquelon $68,200,000
  11. Marshall Islands $79,400,000
  12. Cook Islands $81,040,000
  13. Falkland Islands $90,000,000
  14. São Tomé and Príncipe $99,000,000
Image result for tokelau

Monday, March 21, 2016

Under Inflated

China 2.493%
India 5.905%
Luxembourg 0.535%
United States 1.373%

I started collecting figures for the countries that caught our eye but it became evident that different sites logged different inflation rates. That hasn't stopped this reckless blogger where it comes to fiscal facts and lifestyle tidbits but still to be taken with a grain of salt (at least that's affordable)

I ended up gravitating to for my comparisons even if this struck useful examples like Belarus and American Samoa from contention.

As Venezuela demonstrates, it can depend very much on when a sample is taken, even if other nations are subject to sustained low or high inflation.

I've used Wikipedia quite a bit through the years but it is behind what other sites at least guess at. Worldbank data shows you the rates each year so you can see by what increments inflation is rising or falling. It may be that a static market is not what you want. Again, trying to work out how much I've got in my swag is not my bag.

We are interested in the inflation rate in the country that has the greatest raw productivity even if that comes as much as anything from the size of the country and its population. Crowds can can be a hindrance as much as a potential customer though if Bangladesh is anything to go by.

Qatar manages at a tidy low 3.57% in 2014. Now this isn't in the negative figures but consider whether you would rather live in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, El Salvador or Switzerland. I'm practicing my yodel as we speak.
I don't think my aversion to war zones and dictators who never die informs my preference, neither e'en does that Swiss chocolate, and I think I'm being as scholarly as someone who left off Consumer Education in 1978 can be when I make my analysis: those countries had further to fall. They all strike me as countries that had had a massive upheaval so, to be heading in the right direction now is to be commended but it doesn't suggest  it's going to be an easy economy to live in; just a hopeful one.

I think the measure is a basket of goods at the supermarket which can then allow for other factors for individual items (I would have gone for the loaf of bread and said that it cost $3 in, say, 2011 and five years later costs you 49.98% more. Or is that statistically too long for a staple item?)

Even if the bread for bread campaign wins, is it so terrible to have bread that costs three bucks a while back now gives me no change from a fiver? Isn't that the same situation here; in which case we're just arguing over how long you wait or whether you note the gradual increases and the spikes. We've seen the cost of some consumer goods go up and then slide back down when the conflict is resolved or the weather goes back to normal.

Petrol goes up and down over years. When and how can you usefully factor it in?

Tuvalu has 3.8% inflation. I don't think they've got too much to worry about.

Unsurprisingly, all the high per capita GDP countries have very manageable low inflation. A few sit in the three per cent range, others are lower.

Inflation in Central African Republic was reported at 25.58% but Democratic Republic of Congo only 3.70%; Malawi back up at 23.50%

Djibouti sits at the low 2-3 per cents, Mozambique at the high but not crazy high 12.18%. Senegal is forecast to go down to 1.4%

Economists do opine about how there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment and this appears to be borne out by Afghanistan's steep rise in unemployment in the last two years; it now sits at 40%
Zimbabwe is 11.30%, El Salvador 7%, Cyprus 15.3%, Poland 10.3%, Bulgaria 10.2%
These aren't good figures but nowhere near as bad as wartorn Afghanistan
The joker in the pack is Thailand with a tiny 0.91% unemployment.

Venezuela for all its problems is on a par with us at 6% unemployment and Malawi 6.6%
Ukraine is slightly worse at 9.4%, South Sudan is a surprising 12% (surprising for a complete basketcase) while the other Sudan is actually worse off with 19.5% unemployment, Yemen is really screwed with 29%
The best of the high inflation nations are Argentina with 5.9% unemployment, Russia with 5.8, Ghana with 5.2%, Russia 5.8% and the one possible exemplar for arguing for the inverse relationship, Belarus.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Inflation rate is under control

Image result for afghanistan
  1. Afghanistan -1.94%
  2. Zimbabwe -1.61%
  3. El Salvador -1.16%
  4. Switzerland -1.08%
  5. St. Vincent and the Grenadines -1.02%
  6. Micronesia -1%
  7. Cyprus -1%
  8. Thailand -0.86%
  9. St. Kitts and Nevis -0.83%
  10. Poland -0.83%
  11. Bulgaria -0.77%
  12. Grenada -0.7%

Taking inflation into account

Image result for venezuela
  1. Venezuela 159.06%
  2. Ukraine 49.98%
  3. South Sudan 41.1%
  4. Yemen 30.03%
  5. Malawi 20.06%
  6. Sudan 19.08%
  7. Argentina 16.82%
  8. Russia 15.79%
  9. Ghana 15.31%
  10. Belarus 15.15%
  11. Islamic Republic of Iran 15.09%

Thursday, March 10, 2016

E-con I missed

Just as it's important to play to your strengths, sometimes it is best to avoid those areas where you are weakest. I've done a bit of high school Economics but that's about it.

This layman blogger sees Qatar as a clear winner, cleaning up both the best per capita GDP and the lowest unemployment. The two don't always go hand in hand.

The presence of more of those small island dependencies (Guernsey, Gibraltar, Isle of Man) among the lowest unemployment rates could lead one to think there's a handful of people and they've all got jobs to do but then where are the others? Thailand has a population of 67 million and they've all been put to work.

India has only 3.6% unemployment and China 4.1%
Looking at raw figures, their much larger populations means that there are still a few people wandering the streets.

If a dependency is protected by the host country then that explains Jersey with 2.7% but not American Samoa.

Central African Republic has 8% unemployment, not outrageous. Whether the fact that this figure is out of date says anything.

Belarus is a landlocked country in eastern Europe and a bit of a dark horse

Djibouti Djidipi - Djibouti is 38th poorest country in the world with $3,181.68 GDP per capita but that's in the same proximity as Papua New Guinea* which already surprised us by having such a good employment record when they are still thought of as a developing country.

[*in fact it's better]

Anyone keeping tabs won't question why figures are so high in Nepal and Gaza; instability of natural or manmade causes has an effect on the job market and the industry they rely on.

Mozambique is in a worse predicament than its fellow 60 per center; seventh poorest as opposed to Djibouti's distant thirty eighth. It's the archetypal place with no jobs and no money

Bosnia And Herzegovina and Indonesia sit very close on the GDP per capita scale. Modest but not the worst.

So, as we said at the beginning, you can't draw up direct parallels to full employment and full prosperity, not without qualifications.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Jobless, figures

  1. Djibouti 60.0
  2. Mozambique 60.0
  3. American Samoa 49.9
  4. Senegal 48.0
  5. Nepal 46.0
  6. Bosnia and Herzegovina 43.9
  7. Lesotho 42.7
  8. Kenya 42.0
  9. Gaza Strip 41.5
  10. Swaziland 40.6
  11. Syria 40.0

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Countries that work

  1. Qatar 0.4
  2. Belarus 0.7
  3. Thailand 0.9
  4. Tonga 1.1
  5. Laos 1.4
  6. Guernsey 1.5
  7. Cambodia 1.6
  8. Gibraltar 1.8
  9. Isle of Man 1.8
  10. Macau 1.9
  11. Papua New Guinea 1.9
  12. Singapore 1.9

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Well off

It becomes apparent when looking at the lowest and least that the different measures can be usefully compared: in pure gross domestic product we have a list of small island nations with similarly sized populations. Nobody's asking Tuvalu or Kiribati to do the heavy lifting (those figures are billions by the way, I take it Tuvalu doesn't produce anything.)

With the poor list, there is mention of the ebola virus, of revolution and instability in the government and military; the capsule summary is outright declaring their poverty and ongoing difficulties.

From a dry economic perspective, it is of interest to know how the small economies operate. I'm not sure - if you are not working or operating in a country with any of the above - if it is possibly wasteful to factor in the lot of the poorest populace. Water cooler revolution is off the agenda.


Would it be fair to say that there is no correlation between GDP and per capita GDP? Judging by lists both high and low, yes.

There are lists on both ends of the spectrum that different sites place in different order. Nonetheless, I think it is fair to recognise Singapore as a country that has a compact community steeped in commerce and that Japan with all its fingers in so many pies and exceeding the field would be off the scale with raw GDP

I don't think, however much variance* you see, that anyone has managed to confuse Burundi with Brunei in terms of output or wealth to go around.

*yes, I did see Australia appear in one top ten

Thursday, March 03, 2016


  1. Tuvalu 0.0
  2. Kiribati 0.2
  3. São Tomé and Príncipe 0.3
  4. Tonga 0.4
  5. Dominica 0.5
  6. Comoros 0.6
  7. The Gambia 0.8
  8. St. Vincent and the Grenadines 0.8
  9. Vanuatu 0.8
  10. Samoa 0.9
  11. St. Kitts and Nevis 0.9 

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Poor's odds

Different results here too, depending on where you look. My source has GDP based on purchasing- power-parity (PPP) per capita as its yardstick in determining the poorest countries on Earth.

  1. Central African Republic        US$  639.937
  2. Democratic Republic of Congo   $  753.907
  3. Malawi                                       $  819.688
  4. Liberia                                        $   934.095
  5. Burundi                                      $   951.08
  6. Niger                                          $1,069.59
  7. Mozambique                              $1,208.16
  8. Eritrea                                        $1,210.15
  9. Guinea                                        $1,388.74
  10. Madagascar                                $1,477.78

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Worldly riches

While Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the favoured method of measuring a nation's wealth, it is open to criticism on a number of fronts. Nonetheless, it is a most useful arbiter. One notes that per capita GDP is a more accurate indicator with noting that Luxembourg though possessing a relatively meagre GDP is better off than India with its higher figure being shared among a much higher population.
In terms of risking economic theory, it would do to remember that there are a range of results, with wikipedia quoting 2014 figures putting the US ahead of China. Depending on whether your narrative concerns Chinese ownership of Australian land and industry or fear of a Trump presidency, might determine which way you proceed.

Just as not all Chinese nationals get to share (equally) in that nineteen and a half trillion, neither should we assume that every Qatar national is actually the recipient of a hundred and thirty three grand a year.

Mount a Marxist attack on wealth distribution in the United States and you get hit with the information that their per capita take is just outside the top ten. France also sits well in both criteria.