Difficult to be optimistic on export outlook: Natixis

June 28, 2019

HONG KONG - The French banking group Natixis says deglobalisation seems to be resolutely at work, with global exports recording three consecutive months of fall between December and February this year before an upturn in March. "The introduction of tariff barriers in 2018 and 2019 cannot explain this fall in exports, which is unprecedented since 2008, Natixis says.

On the other hand, the effects of the trade tensions on economic agents' behaviour, particularly in the industrial sector, have been massive.

"Over the last few months, the risks to global trade (trade war, Brexit) have become increasingly acute, weighing on business leaders' confidence and leading them to expect these events to materialise."

Natixis says an analysis of PMI surveys highlights an atypical trend in certain components.

"This is the case with stocks in particular: their trend has been decisive in the trajectory of exports, which explains their overreaction in relation to production."

Natixis says it is difficult to be optimistic when it comes to the outlook for global exports.

Their carry-over growth at the end of the first quarter was zero (after 3% growth on average in 2018) and the support factors are weak.

"Uncertainty remains high, and stocking issues will probably remain a decisive factor (this also depends on logistics problems), but given the underlying weakness of new export orders, we cannot see a significant and long-lasting rebound.

"In its latest Economic Bulletin, the ECB estimated the impact of the rise of protectionism on the growth trajectory, via the trade and confidence channel.

"According to its estimates, an escalation of the trade war would lead to a fall in global trade of 2.5% over one year in the core scenario." www.natixis.com(ATI).