Over the weekend, we learned that South Korean exports beat expectations and jumped 3.9 per cent year-over-year in November.
And this is a positive signal for all of Asia and perhaps the global economy. From SocGen’s Klaus Baader:
South Korea exports grew at a much faster pace than we or consensus expected. Given Korea’s strong export orientation and the exceptionally timely publication of its trade statistics, this is an important signal about the health of Asian and also global trade. The implication from these data is that the recovery is indeed building.
Exports were up 3.9% yoy in November after +1.1% in October and -5.0% yoy in Q3. The level of exports grew for the third month in succession (by 1.4%, albeit not seasonally adjusted) and were the highest since May. The November figures were stronger than median predictions (1.6% yoy) and much stronger than our forecast (0.0%), which was influenced by officla comments from China that Chinese November trade figures would be weak. That may still be the case, but it appears not to have had a negative impact on Korea’s exports.
This strong number has been confirmed by a nice rebound South Korean manufacturing PMI.