The CFR Global Trade Tracker allows you to gauge trends in international trade through time.
The map below compiles trade data from 178 countries as reported to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It displays values for each country’s trade in tangible goods and, for countries reporting the necessary data to the IMF, it also shows the value on their current accounts (that is, adding in services trade, payments to investors abroad, and other foreign funds transfers).
For both current-account and goods-trade data, you can choose to view countries’ exports, imports, total trade volume, or balance of trade. You can also choose to see the data in U.S. dollars or as a share of countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). Use the drop-down menu above the map to select which figures to display. Hover over a particular country to see its latest data and, to view changes over time, adjust the date using the slider above the map. Dollar-denominated data appears on the map as circles, and each circle’s area scales with the size of that country’s trade. Countries are shaded according to their share of GDP, with darker shading signaling more trade. Countries with a positive trade balance are colored in green, while those with a negative balance are colored in orange.
The data highlights significant trends in global trade. It shows, among other things, how trade plunges during recessions and climbs during recovery. In the third quarter of 2009, for example, one year after the onset of the Great Recession, global goods trade plunged by 25 percent from the year prior (by 10 percent of each country’s GDP, on average). Trade then climbed higher over the subsequent decade, but fell sharply again during the COVID-19 pandemic. By the third quarter of 2020 (the period of most countries’ latest available data), goods trade had fallen more than 8 percent (3.5 percent of each country’s GDP, on average) from the year prior.
You can also view historical trade data for each country on the chart below. Select a country with the left drop-down menu and which category to display with the right one. To the left of the chart, you can see the selected country’s most recent trade figures and average tariff rates. For sixty large national economies, the chart also displays data on each country's bilateral trade relationships with its largest trading partners.
As both the map and the chart show, the dollar value of global trade has grown markedly over the past three decades. Some of this rise owes to increased globalization, but price inflation has also played a role in the dollar data. Countries’ share-of-GDP numbers, which strip out most of the inflation effects, have naturally risen more slowly.
The map above shows goods-trade and current-account figures for countries that report them to the IMF’s Balance of Payments dataset. All trade data is shown as four-quarter rolling sums, as is current-account data for countries that report quarterly. Otherwise, data is annual. GDP figures come from the IMF’s International Financial Statistics (IFS) dataset, except for Venezuela after 2012, for Myanmar prior to 2013, and for cases in which the IFS has not yet published a country’s figures. In those cases, GDP numbers come from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook. For each country, its top three trading partners are defined as those countries with which it has the greatest goods-trade volume over the most recent eight quarters of data.