HSBC Global Connections Trade Report: U.S. Trade Outlook Improves Short- And Longer-Term

U.S. companies are forecast to increase trade activity by 4.7 percent annually during the next decade as export growth rises with emerging market nations where a shift to consumption is underway, according to a new report released today by HSBC Commercial Banking.

The HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast, which examines global trade trends during the next five, 10 and 15 years, also finds that U.S. trade growth is forecast to rise 95 percent by 2026, broadly in line with the global trade forecast during the same period.

HSBC’s global trade forecast, produced in association with Delta Economics and covering trade trends occurring in every region of the world, including 20 individual countries, further reveals:
  • Despite ongoing global economic difficulties, notably in Europe, global trade is forecast to grow at a robust rate of 4.7 percent annually during the next 15 years
  • In next five years, U.S. export growth is expected to rise fastest with emerging market countries, including Peru at 8.7 percent, followed by Turkey and Brazil, both of which are expected to see growth of better than 8 percent
  • Annual growth rate of U.S. exports to China are forecasted to outpace U.S. imports from China during next five years
  • China and Germany are set to leapfrog the United States to become the world’s largest importers by 2026
  • Intra-regional trade continues to be an important driver for U.S. companies, with Canada and Mexico, the United States’ top two export partners and two and three for imports, playing a significant role in the nation’s trade flows
  • Biopharmaceuticals and telecommunications equipment are forecasted during the next five years as the two fastest growing non-commodity U.S. exports respectively, growing at 8.6 and 6.7 percent annually

In the shorter-term, the companion HSBC Trade Confidence Index (TCI), conducted twice a year for HSBC (NYSE:HBC) by TNS, finds U.S.-based importers and exporters are very confident about their expected trade volumes during the next six months. The TCI reveals 59 percent of them anticipate an overall increase in trade volumes, up 10 percent from the last TCI released in October 2011. U.S. businesses are also more optimistic about the state of the global economy with 44 percent expecting it to improve by year end, up from only 29 percent that held that same view in the second half of 2011.

“Traditional export-driven economies in ‘emerging’ markets are becoming more consumer-driven and importing more from high-end developed nation producers like the United States to fulfill demand,” said Steve Bottomley, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC, North America. “U.S. businesses should not ignore this important shift, and growth driver, but instead position themselves to become beneficiaries of this opportunity that is expected to help fuel global trade for many years to come.”

The biggest gains in trade during the next five years are forecast in Latin America, up 6 percent and Asia, 5.4 percent.

U.S. businesses participating in the latest HSBC TCI report seeing this. The latest TCI found that 29 percent of U.S. businesses view Latin America as providing the greatest opportunity for trade growth in the next six months, while almost a quarter (23 percent) consider China the most promising region.

Brazil is expected to realize the fastest annual import growth globally during the next five years at 7.7 percent.

Meanwhile, China, despite its increasing size, is still forecast to see strong annual growth in both imports and exports of 5.1 percent and 4.7 percent through 2016.

Sectors expected to drive the greatest trade growth in the next five years are those which correlate to economic development. The trade forecast finds automobiles, non-crude oil, medicines and printing will be the sectors that dominate world trade during the next 15 years, and emerging areas are expected to lead that growth. Some examples:
  • Brazil is expected to see car imports rise by more than 13 percent in the next five years
  • Chinese imports of cars are expected to rise by nearly 12 percent to 2016
  • Imports of medicaments are expected to grow by 5.3 percent and biopharmaceuticals by 6.6 percent, both driven by demand in the emerging markets and supplied by the United States and Europe
  • Asian and Latin American imports of medicines are expected to rise by 7 percent
  • Latin American imports of biopharmaceuticals by more than 11 percent through 2016
  • The Asia Pacific region is set to grow printing equipment and machinery exports (machines coloring fabrics, books, magazines, transport vehicles, containers, packaging etc) by 11.4 percent annually through 2016, and imports by 10.6 percent

For a copy of the global report and further information, visit:

Notes to editors:

About the Trade Forecast

The Trade Forecast has a unique approach to understanding the drivers of trade from a business perspective, informed by: trade trends, measuring merchandise trade, macroeconomic and market influences on trade (for example GDP, oil prices, inflation, foreign direct investment), and business environment influences on trade (including regulation, demographics, access to capital and finance). The research has been commissioned by HSBC and undertaken by Delta Economics.

The economic and business narratives stem from a broader documentary search that includes material from National Statistical Offices, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, economic blogs, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bloomberg, Havers Analytics, the Financial Times and other professional and financial services news websites.

About the Trade Confidence Index

The HSBC Trade Confidence Index (TCI) is an international survey of small and mid-market businesses engaged in cross-border trade and the largest trade confidence survey globally. The TCI has been commission by HSBC and is conducted by TNS. The TCI is drawn from the viewpoints on trade of 5,800 exporters, importers and traders from small and mid-market enterprises globally. Views were gathered from April 10, 2012 through June 1, 2012 for the latest TCI, the seventh.

About HSBC Commercial Banking

HSBC Commercial Banking serves more than 3.5 million customers, from small enterprises to large multinationals, in over 60 developed and emerging markets around the world. Whether it is working capital, trade finance or payments and cash management solutions, we provide the tools and expertise that businesses need to thrive. With a heritage stretching back nearly 150 years, and a network covering three quarters of global commerce, we make HSBC the world’s leading trade and business bank.

For more information visit:

About HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

HSBC Bank USA, National Association, with total assets of $206.8 billion as of 31 March 2012 (US GAAP), serves 3.8 million customers through its personal financial services, commercial banking, private banking, asset management, and global banking and markets segments. It operates more than 465 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 370 in New York state as well as branches in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon and Washington State. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., one of the nation's largest bank holding companies by assets. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of FDIC.

About HSBC Holdings plc

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,200 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,637bn at 31 March 2012, the HSBC Group is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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