U.S. business leaders expect trade to rise in the next six months as global economic conditions improve and demand for infrastructure goods soars, according to the latest data from the U.S. HSBC Global Connections Trade Report.
U.S. businesses reported increased confidence in near term trade prospects, pushing the HSBC Trade Confidence Index from 107 to 114, an all-time high since the index’s inception, and higher than the global index average of 112. The index is an international survey of small and middle market businesses, including about 300 in the U.S., engaged in cross-border trade. Additionally, 67 percent of U.S. business leaders surveyed expect export and import volumes to rise in the next six months, up from 48 percent in the second half of 2012, and 29 percent cited improved global economic conditions as the main reason for increasing business, the report finds.
According to the report, which includes short-, mid-, and long-term trade outlooks, industrial machinery and transport equipment are expected to be the top U.S. export growth sectors, accounting for 35 percent of the growth in exports over the next three years. Globally, infrastructure trade is set to triple by 2030, growing at an average annual rate of nine percent from 2013 to 2030, and accounting for 54 percent of total global exports goods by 2030, up from 45 percent in 2013. Infrastructure trade includes infrastructure goods – the materials needed for infrastructure projects, and investment equipment – the machinery required by businesses to boost production. 1
“Infrastructure is the bedrock that enables economic activity,” said Steve Bottomley, Group General Manager and Head of Commercial Banking in North America for HSBC. “The investment countries are making in infrastructure is phenomenal and provides a huge opportunity for U.S. businesses looking to grow and develop. By connecting businesses to international opportunities and markets, HSBC is helping U.S. companies capitalize on this trend as well as spur economic growth.”