Exchange traded funds (ETFs) performance that correspond with a country’s growth are tied to many different factors. One major factor to consider is the billions marked down on a country’s trade balance sheet.

According to Gary Gordon for ETF Expert, there is a slight discernible difference between the five largest net exporters and net importers as shown in their respective ETF growths.

Net importers’ five-year total % change:

  • Vanguard Total U.S. Market (NYSEArca: VTI): 12.8%
  • iShares MSCI United Kingdom (NYSEArca: EWU): 10.7%
  • iShares MSCI Spain (NYSEArca: EWP): 91.7%
  • iShares MSCI France (NYSEArca: EWQ): 35.1%
  • The India Fund (NYSE: IFN): 129.4%

Net exporters’ five-year total % change:

  • iShares FTSE China 25 Index (NYSEArca: FXI): 173.9%
  • iShares MSCI Germany (NYSEArca: EWG): 53.9%
  • Central Europe/Russia Fund (NYSE: CEE): 91.3%
  • iShares South Korea (NYSEArca: EWY): 90.5%
  • iShares MSCI Netherlands (NYSEArca: EWN): 46.3%

The data shows that percentage gains are leaning toward exporters and developing countries, more export-dependent, are producing larger percentage returns.

Gordon makes the distinction that successful investing in seemingly export-type countries is more dependent on overall economic growth and less to do with the large “net exporter” moniker.

For more information on ETF trends, visit our trend following category. Read more of Gary Gordon’s ETF observations at ETF Expert.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.