Friday, January 8, 2010

November 2009 Trade: Back To Normal

Yesterday's trade report from Matrade disappointed on nearly all counts, with growth turning negative for exports and slowing for imports (log annual and monthly changes, seasonally adjusted):

Again, the consensus estimate got blown out of the water, but this time in the opposite direction - +2.5% export growth versus actual realization of -3.4%.

In my last post, I thought exports would hit the top end of the forecast range - I got it wrong too. Instead exports came back to the middle of the range (and very closely, too), which means I probably should have more trust in my own models than in prognostication.

This also suggests that the first of my two hypotheses was probably more correct - October's outsize growth was caused more by a catching up of shipments after Hari Raya than a signal that we are entering a more sustainable recovery in export volumes.

On that score, December's trade numbers should show some improvement over November, but not too much:

Seasonally adjusted model

Point forecast:RM48,236m, Range forecast:RM54,231m-RM42,241

Seasonal difference model

Point forecast:RM51,242m, Range forecast:RM58,421m-RM44,064m

Technical Notes:
Trade data from MATRADE.


  1. im excited about this, especially with our regional trading partners ( notably china and taiwan IIRC) reported higher exports for december.

    yet, i wonder how much stimulus spending affects exports growth in malaysia.

  2. I don't think there should be any impact on exports form stimulus spending. Imports perhaps.