The Current Account Balance is a measure of a country’s “profitability”. It is the sum of profits (losses) made from trading with other countries, profits (losses) made from investments in other countries, and cash transfers, such as remittances from expatriates.
As the infographic shows, there isn’t much middle ground when it comes to a current account balance. Most countries have:
- large deficits (America, most of Europe, Australia, Brazil, India)
- large surpluses (China, most of Southeast Asia, Northern European countries, Russia, Gulf oil producers).
There are a few countries with
- small deficits (most Central American states, Pakistan)
- small surpluses (most Baltics)
…but they are largely outnumbered by the clear winners and losers of world trade.
The above is not a per-capita infographic, so larger countries tend to be clear winners or losers, while smaller countries are more likely to straddle the divide. Here is the per-capita Current Account Balance map:
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