Friday, December 06, 2013

The Non-Anglo Germanic Surplus Bloc

While Paul Krugman and others bash Germany for running a large current account surplus, the fact is that surpluses are the rule in Germanic countries in the Europe continent. All countries in the European continent (including Scandinavia but excluding the British isles and Iceland) that have a majority of its people speaking  a Germanic language except for Belgium, which is 40% French, have a large current account surplus.

Furthermore most of these countries have a surplus which is larger relative to GDP than Germany's. Norway's and Switzerland's surpluses are proportionately nearly twice as high as Germany's. Oh and both these countries partly achieve these surpluses through government intervention. Switzerland by its active policy to prevent the euro from falling below 1.20 francs and Norway by its massive oil fund that invests oil revenues in foreign financial assets. Yet "strangely" (there is an explanation) everyone only blame Germany while ignoring Norway and Switzerland.

Here is a table showing the balances first in absolute terms and then relative to GDP (or GNP in Luxembourg's case).

Germany    €167 billion
Netherlands €62 billion
Switzerland  €59 billion (CHF 72 billion)
Norway       €42 billion (NOK 350 billion)
Sweden       €27 billion (SEK 240 billion)
Denmark     €16 billion (DKK 120 billion)
Austria         € 8 billion
Luxembourg € 3 billion
Belgium     - €12 billion

Total          €362 billion

Switzerland   12%
Norway         12%
Netherlands   10%
Luxembourg   8%
Sweden            7%
Denmark          7%
Germany          6%
Austria            2.5%
Belgium           -4%

Total               7% (7.5% excluding Belgium)


Blogger Roger McKinney said...

Krugman doesn't want the Big EZ South to improve. He merely wants the Germany to destroy its economy. Very strange. Why does he hate Germany? Krugman advertises the total bankruptcy of mainstream econ in the US.

6:20 AM  

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