Home > Business Libraries, Economic data > Go with the Flow: Bloomberg’s Trade Flow Function

Go with the Flow: Bloomberg’s Trade Flow Function

From the Lippincott Datapoints blog – an excellent source of Bloomberg tips

Datapoints: A blog from the Lippincott Library of the Wharton School of Business

China deficit_reducedBloomberg’s Trade Flow function (ECTR) has recently been updated. It provides an easy way to produce tables and graphs for world trade including data on total trade, surplus/deficit, exports/imports and net exports. Time series go back to 1980 and include yearly, quarterly, and monthly data. Geographic detail includes geographic regions, 251 countries, and geopolitical regions such as BRICS and the EU.

Bloomberg uses import data provided by the IMF. Bloomberg then determines the figures for exports by imputing them from imports. For example, country A’s exports to Country B are given as Country B’s imports from country A.  This calculation is done to make world total imports and exports equal. Reported export figures of countries tend to be lower, and are assumed to be less accurate, than import figures. For example, the IMF reports Total World exports in 2012 as 18,097.2 billion U.S. dollars and Total World imports as 18.267.0…

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