Asia export engine stuck in neutral despite US uptick

Concerns were raised about the region's competitiveness and its ability to motor through the next tough time for emerging markets.


economic growth Asia


Asia’s once-reliable export engine remains stalled two years into a global economic recovery, raising concerns about the region’s competitiveness and its ability to motor through the next tough time for emerging markets. 

Reports have shown that exports from seven of East Asia’s biggest exporters – Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore – grew by just 0.8 per cent in the third quarter, according to national trade data, led by a 3.1 per cent gain in exports to the US from the same three months of 2012.

The data reinforce a worrying trend in a region where gross exports represent more than a third of its combined economic output: since peaking in 2010 as the global economy rebounded from financial crisis, Asia’s export growth has rapidly cooled.

Double-digit growth, common to the past decade, petered out in 2011 and has not recovered.