We talk a lot about the standard fare of economic data on this site; employment data always steals the show but there are many other data points with great importance. And then there are even more obscure economic reports that provide much more detail than the average user would really care to have. On another day we may find some of the most obscure things available, but for now let’s look at some more mainstream charts that you still probably have seen before.
Ecommerce retail sales
When was the last time someone talked about online sales? Maybe 8 years ago this was something people cared more about. There’s always been this assumption that sales of the internet would take over everything. As you can see back in the early 2000s online sales grew at an insane pace. The growth today at 15% is still fast, but the rate of growth is falling. With so much in sales still done in brick and mortar stores, 15% growth won’t steal a whole lot from that traditional channel.
US imports and exports with China
We often hear a lot of talk about imports from China. They make all our stuff from underwear to iPhones. People often think this means we don’t export anything back to China. But that’s far from the truth. Let’s not kid ourselves of course, we buy more stuff made in China than the other way around. However, since January 2010 imports from China are up 8% while exports to China are up 37%. We may never see parity, but the growth in US exports is not a story we hear about.
GDP in the US and Euro Area
By converting both GDP figures to an index we can compare how they’ve grown from that point in time. As you can see, coming out the financial crisis these two economies went in very different directions. This is partially due to the austerity plans put in place by many European countries. The US pursued more of a stimulus strategy. For now it seems the stimulus has been more effective but it remains to be seen if that is the long term winner.