If you're expecting a strong rebound in Asian exports soon be prepared for disappointment

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

If you’re expecting a strong rebound in Asian export growth in coming months be prepared for disappointment.

According to Nomura’s leading index of Asian exports, the downturn in trade that started late last year looks will get worse in the months ahead.


“The drop in May was the largest fall since November 2015, and was led down by US semiconductor companies’ global sales, China’s imports and manufacturing PMI surveys for China, the rest of emerging markets, and the Eurozone,” said Rob Subbaraman and Michael Loo, Economists at Nomura.

“In mid-2018 our index correctly warned of the slowdown in Asia’s export growth. Now our index is signaling Asia’s export downturn will continue to deepen until at least May.”

The trade indicator, which excludes exports from Japan, is made up of eight forward-looking components and typically leads aggregate exports from the region by around three months, according to Nomura.

While the leading index doesn’t have a perfect relationship with official export data, its track record is still fairly good nonetheless. If that form continues, things could well get worse before they get better.

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