So much for expecting a bounce. May’s trade numbers offer little room for optimism (log annual and monthly changes; seasonally adjusted):
Export growth dropped (again), while imports took a step back. Rather ironically, it would have been even worse, if there hadn’t been a bit of a push from electrical and electronic exports (log annual and monthly changes; seasonally adjusted):
Growth in non-E&E exports turned negative in both annual and monthly measures, but E&E exports were up 4.1% in log terms over April’s. Much of this retrograde is actually coming from prices – export volume is down only 0.3% y-o-y, but the terms of trade (export prices in terms of import prices) fell 1.5%.
Looking forward…actually, there’s not much to look forward to. Outside of the US and Japan, external demand continues to look pretty weak. Growth in emerging markets are taking a cue from China, i.e. don’t bet on it. In short, whatever growth we’ll see this year is going to come from onshore sources.
May 2013 External Trade report from MATRADE