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Posts Tagged ‘The World Factbook’

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency of the...

As of February 10, 2011, the CIA World Factbook is still reporting December 31, 2008, numbers for the Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares.

Rounding out the Top 10 are (T represents trillions of USD):

1. United States 11.740T
2. European Union 7.564T
3. Japan 3.220T
4. China 2.794T
5. United Kingdom 1.852T
6. France 1.492T
7. Russia 1.322T
8. Hong Kong 1.320T
9. Germany 1.108T
10. Canada 1.002T

On February 28, 2009, I recorded theirĀ Top 10 for 2007.

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Bloomberg reported this on January 2, 2010, however, as of June, the CIA hadn’t updated their production figures showing Russia at the top as they now have.

From their top 10 list, only three are OPEC nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.

Russia 9,920,000 barrels/day (2009 est.)
Saudi Arabia 8,146,000 barrels/day (2008 est.)

Saudi Arabia is reported to have 264.1 billion barrels of “proved” oil reserves, as of the January 1, 2009 estimate, with Russia having 79 billion barrels, or less than a third of Saudi Arabia’s.

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Previously, I uncovered that the CIA is overstating Canada’s government spending by more than 200%, by inconsistently reporting all government spending for Canada, and only federal spending for the U.S., despite both having a federal system of government.

Looking through Canada’s numbers again, I noticed its massive exports hemorrhage from 2008 to 2009. This time, the CIA’s numbers are correct.

From Canada’s entry in The World Factbook:

Exports:
$323.4 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
$459.1 billion (2008 est.)

Exports decreased by a whopping 30% from 2008 to 2009, despite the downturn not hitting Canada hard until September 2008, when, as one example, the Canadian dollar declined by 20% relative to the USD in less than a full month.

By comparison, U.S. exports “only” fell by 14% from 2008 to 2009, despite officially being in recession since December 2007.

The CIA states that export figures are stated in U.S. dollars based on the official exchange rate. Given an estimated GDP of $1.335 trillion for 2009, Canada’s exports only accounted for 24% of its GDP. Imports for 2009 were estimated to be $327.2 billion, resulting in net exports of -$3.8 billion.

In a forthcoming article, I’ll expand on my discussion from July 1 on “Crash! Are You Ready?” on why claims of a higher dollar being bad for exports are overly simplistic, and how it’s been completely counterproductive for Canada’s central bank and leading politicians to be slavishly devoted to keeping the Canadian dollar below par with the USD. In doing so, they argue for and support government intervention for 24% of the economy at the expense of the other 76%.

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With the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2010 ranking of Canada as more economically free than the United States, the CIA’s overstatement of Canada’s government intervention in the economy is particularly striking.

From Canada’s Economy section of the CIA’s World Factbook, we see:

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.335 trillion (2009 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $514.5 billion
expenditures: $547.2 billion (2009 est.)

Government spending is reported to be 41% of Canada’s GDP in 2009.

From the United States‘ Economy page, we see:

GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.43 trillion (2009 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $1.914 trillion
expenditures: $3.615 trillion (2009 est.)

Government spending is reported to be 25% of the United States’ GDP in 2009.

From the official U.S. federal budget numbers for 2009, total spending was $3.518 trillion. The CIA’s estimate was off by less than 3%.

From Canada’s federal budget numbers for 2009, total spending was $237.8 billion or only 17.8% of Canada’s GDP, seven percentage points lower than that of the U.S., with the CIA’s estimate off by more than 200%.

Since both countries have federal governments, and the CIA is reporting the federal budget numbers for the U.S., the same should be true for Canada.

As further evidence the CIA’s data for Canada’s government spending is incorrect, the conservative Heritage Foundation ranked Canada as more economically free than the United States in 2010. If Canada truly had 41% of its GDP tied up in government spending versus 25% for the U.S, how could and why would the Heritage Foundation rank Canada as more economically free?

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Under “What’s New” atĀ https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/, the latest edition of The World Factbook reports:

“- In order to provide more information on the nature and global dimensions of the current financial crisis, The World Factbook has added five new fields to the Economy category: “Central bank discount rate,” “Commercial bank prime lending rate,” “Stock of money,” “Stock of quasi money,” and “Stock of domestic credit.””

These are very useful measurements. Now if only they would get around to updating those numbers since the end of 2007, for more than a few countries to date!

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