Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo


The stock and bond values will not show up in the current account. However, the dividends from the stocks and the interest from the bonds show up as an import to income in the current account.


It becomes more negative as imports, which are a negative to the current account, are growing faster than exports, which are a positive.

  1. Money flows out of the Mexican economy.
  2. Money flows into the Mexican economy.
  3. Money flows out of the Mexican economy.

GDP is a dollar value of all production of goods and services. Exports are produced domestically but shipped abroad. The percent ratio of exports to GDP gives us an idea of how important exports are to the national economy out of all goods and services produced. For example, exports represent only 14% of U.S. GDP, but 50% of Germany’s GDP


Divide $542 billion by $1,800 billion.


Divide –$400 billion by $16,800 billion.


The trade balance is the difference between exports and imports. The current account balance includes this number (whether it is a trade balance or a trade surplus), but also includes international flows of money from global investments.

  1. An export sale to Germany involves a financial flow from Germany to the U.S. economy.
  2. The issue here is not U.S. investments in Brazil, but the return paid on those investments, which involves a financial flow from the Brazilian economy to the U.S. economy.
  3. Foreign aid from the United States to Egypt is a financial flow from the United States to Egypt.
  4. Importing oil from the Russian Federation means a flow of financial payments from the U.S. economy to the Russian Federation.
  5. Japanese investors buying U.S. real estate is a financial flow from Japan to the U.S. economy.

The top portion tracks the flow of exports and imports and the payments for those. The bottom portion is looking at international financial investments and the outflow and inflow of monies from those investments. These investments can include investments in stocks and bonds or real estate abroad, as well as international borrowing and lending.


If more monies are flowing out of the country (for example, to pay for imports) it will make the current account more negative or less positive, and if more monies are flowing into the country, it will make the current account less negative or more positive.


Write out the national savings and investment identity for the situation of the economy implied by this question:

Supply of capital = Demand for capitalS +  (M – X) + (T – G) = I Savings +  (trade deficit) +  (government budget surplus)=InvestmentSupply of capital = Demand for capitalS +  (M – X) + (T – G) = I Savings +  (trade deficit) +  (government budget surplus)=Investment

If domestic savings increases and nothing else changes, then the trade deficit will fall. In effect, the economy would be relying more on domestic capital and less on foreign capital. If the government starts borrowing instead of saving, then the trade deficit must rise. In effect, the government is no longer providing savings and so, if nothing else is to change, more investment funds must arrive from abroad. If the rate of domestic investment surges, then, ceteris paribus, the trade deficit must also rise, to provide the extra capital. The ceteris paribus—or “other things being equal”—assumption is important here. In all of these situations, there is no reason to expect in the real world that the original change will affect only, or primarily, the trade deficit. The identity only says that something will adjust—it does not specify what.


The government is saving rather than borrowing. The supply of savings, whether private or public, is on the left side of the identity.


A trade deficit is determined by a country’s level of private and public savings and the amount of domestic investment.


The trade deficit must increase. To put it another way, this increase in investment must be financed by an inflow of financial capital from abroad.


Incomes fall during a recession, and consumers buy fewer good, including imports.


A booming economy will increase the demand for goods in general, so import sales will increase. If our trading partners’ economies are doing well, they will buy more of our products and so U.S. exports will increase.

  1. Increased federal spending on Medicare may not increase productivity, so a budget deficit is not justified.
  2. Increased spending on education will increase productivity and foster greater economic growth, so a budget deficit is justified.
  3. Increased spending on the space program may not increase productivity, so a budget deficit is not justified.
  4. Increased spending on airports and air traffic control will increase productivity and foster greater economic growth, so a budget deficit is justified.

Foreign investors worried about repayment so they began to pull money out of these countries. The money can be pulled out of stock and bond markets, real estate, and banks.


A rapidly growing trade surplus could result from a number of factors, so you would not want to be too quick to assume a specific cause. However, if the choice is between whether the economy is in recession or growing rapidly, the answer would have to be recession. In a recession, demand for all goods, including imports, has declined; however, demand for exports from other countries has not necessarily altered much, so the result is a larger trade surplus.


Germany has a higher level of trade than the United States. The United States has a large domestic economy so it has a large volume of internal trade.

  1. A large economy tends to have lower levels of international trade, because it can do more of its trade internally, but this has little impact on its trade imbalance.
  2. An imbalance between domestic physical investment and domestic saving (including government and private saving) will always lead to a trade imbalance, but has little to do with the level of trade.
  3. Many large trading partners nearby geographically increases the level of trade, but has little impact one way or the other on a trade imbalance.
  4. The answer here is not obvious. An especially large budget deficit means a large demand for financial capital which, according to the national saving and investment identity, makes it somewhat more likely that there will be a need for an inflow of foreign capital, which means a trade deficit.
  5. A strong tradition of discouraging trade certainly reduces the level of trade. However, it does not necessarily say much about the balance of trade, since this is determined by both imports and exports, and by national levels of physical investment and savings.
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Jan 23, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.