Global trade may be picking up faster than originally anticipated and that may be good news for U.S. commerce and business elsewhere.
Until recently, hopes were pinned on trade accelerating no earlier than 2015. But recent findings from business activities worldwide suggest international trade growth in the United States and elsewhere around the world will accelerate beginning in 2014, one year earlier than forecast.
The prognosis from HSBC's Global Connections trade forecast said international business will recover more rapidly than expected and increase trade activity earlier due to two key trends: trade fueling more trade and international businesses in search of the best trade partners developing new trade corridors, regardless of location.
Overall global trade is projected to grow $1 trillion year-on-year to 2016.
Exports are expected to fuel U.S. trade growth in near term. U.S. exports to China are forecast to outpace U.S. imports from China during next five years, the report said.
Of these, U.S. motor vehicle exports to China are likely to grow at annualized rate of nearly 12 percent in the next five years.
"The U.S. economy is expected to grow moderately in 2012 but our latest trade forecast shows that to accelerate growth and keep pace with the rest of the world, particularly the emerging world, over the long-term, U.S. businesses will want to begin better connecting themselves to international markets now," said Stephen Bottomley, senior executive vice president and head of commercial banking, HSBC North America.
"Across industries, and across regions of the world, the trade forecast reveals there is plenty of opportunity for many years to come for forward-looking internationally minded companies that plan ahead. HSBC can serve as a trusted adviser and provide business customers a full spectrum of products and services that can assist them with thinking out and executing their international growth plans."
The long-range U.S. and global trade snapshot, encompassing the next five, 10 and 15 years, is part of a broader look at global trade. HSBC says its Global Connections research spans 37 countries and is a comprehensive exploration of the future opportunities for businesses operating internationally, combining trade data from around the world with lead indicators of world trade and macroeconomic trend information.
It also identifies new and emerging trade hubs -- countries that are developing or expanding their role as gateways in key trade corridors or between regions.
Emerging trade corridors suggest that North America will be reducing reliance on China with Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Poland all emerging as key trade partners
Inter-regional trade remains significant for North America, largely driven by trade between the United States and Canada, with Mexico accounting for roughly 25 percent of all North American inter-regional trade.
Trade growth in Latin America is predicted to grow one-third more than predicted for the rest of the world which reflects strong infrastructure development in the region.
"The growth of trade is not merely an emerging market story, rather an international one. In 2011, U.S. exports grew an impressive 14.5 percent, with exports of U.S. manufactured goods reaching a record $1.27 trillion," said Christopher Lewis, executive vice president, head of global trade and receivables finance, HSBC North America.