Main stories
Energy market review Energy market - to be investigated by new competition watchdog..more
Budget logo Budget analysis - latest news
Mark Carney Bank of England - downgrades unemployment threshold

UK growth - GDP up 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013

UK unemployment - down to 7.1% as jobs market improves. More..

The global economy - IMF revises growth forecasts..More
Royal Mail - privatisation comes a step closer with announcement of IPO. More...
   
UK to launch Islamic Bond ..more
Mortgage approvals - highest since Jan 2009...More
Bank of England launches 'forward guidance' policy. Read the full story.
The UK's top 40 Universities for Economics.
Public spending - £11.5bn cuts announced
UK growth - UK avoids triple-dip recession
Benefit cap  - kicks in at £500 per week
UK Budget 2013 - analysis and comment
Student Guide to university Clearing
Quantitative easing - put on hold
Poverty - recession and relative poverty
Welfare reform - the end of universal benefits
Underemployment - over 3 million
CPI inflation - at 2.7%
   
Energy prices - set to rise
Competition policy - new regulator planned
Greek bailout - Euro problems
Top international universities for Economics
Top UK universities for Economics
OECD - latest forecasts for the OECD countries..More
Updates Get the latest updates on the UK economy, including GDP, inflation...More...
  Study guides Latest resources for students from Economics Online.  More...
How to answer data response questions. More...
Multiple choice tests Improve knowledge and understanding of Economics. More...
Market structures revision presentations
Economics tuition - from specialist tutors. Find out more..or REGISTER
City of London The financial crisis reveals a fundamental weakness .. More...
Recommended texts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

The international sector

The international sector includes exports (X), which add to to the value of aggregate demand, and are an injection into the circular flow of income, and imports (M), which reduce aggregate demand, and are a withdrawal from the circular flow. The more trade a country undertakes the ‘open’ it is said to be.

X and M

The UK is an important trading economy, with 50% of its  trade being with the EU area, North American and Japan.

Exchange rates and equilibrium

Changes in exchange rates affect both imports and exports. A rise in the exchange rate will make exports more expensive and imports cheaper, and a fall in the exchange rate will reduce export prices, but increase import prices. Changes in exchange rates will encourage households and firms, at home and abroad, to alter their behaviour, as they would whenever price changes.

The Classical view is that if exports and imports become unbalanced, changes in the exchange rate will bring the international sector back into balance. For example, a temporary deficit, involving imports rising above exports, would lead to a fall in the value of the domestic currency. This is because the demand for the currency falls relative to the supply, reducing export prices, and raising imports prices. This should help to stimulate exports in the future and constrain imports, helping the economy to move back towards equilibrium.