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TRADE AND CURRENT ACCOUNT BALANCE FORECASTS

In addition to their regular forecasts for the major economic variables, twice a year (in February and August) we survey our Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts panellists for their projections for exports, imports and current account balances for the next 4 years. Our panellists are also asked for their predictions for growth in the volume of goods and service exports and imports over the same period.

Our survey for Trade and Current Account Balances covers each of the countries listed below. For illustrative purposes we have included forecast tables for four countries along with a portion of the text commentary taken from our February 2017 survey below. To view a sample issue of Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts please click the "Download Sample Issues" button below.


Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts
Australia New Zealand
China Philippines
Hong Kong Singapore
India South Korea
Indonesia Taiwan
Malaysia Thailand

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Trade and Current Account Balances
  Historical Data Consensus Forecasts
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
AUSTRALIA  
Goods & Services Exports
(fob, A$bn)
318.1 327.1 315.9 324.1e 373.9 388.9 398.5 425.7
Goods & Services Imports
(fob, A$bn)
325.9 335.4 352.6 341.3e 355.0 379.5 405.3 433.7
Trade Balance
(A$bn)
-7.8 -8.2 -36.7 -17.2 18.9 9.4 -6.8 -8.0
% of GDP -0.5 -0.5 -2.2 -1.0 1.0 0.5 -0.3 -0.4
Current Account Balance
(A$bn)
-49.8 -46.3 -77.7 -48.2e -24.5 -38.2 -54.6 -58.8
% of GDP -3.2 -2.9 -4.7 -2.8 -1.4 -2.0 -2.7 -2.8
CHINA  
Merchandise Exports
(fob, US$bn)
2209.0 2342.7 2273.5 2097.4 2147.4 2213.5 2292.9 2338.7
Merchandise Imports
(fob, US$bn)
1950.0 1959.2 1679.6 1587.5 1612.7 1672.6 1788.4 1867.5
Trade Balance
(US$bn)
259.0 383.1 593.9 510.0 534.7 541.0 504.5 471.2
% of GDP 2.7 3.7 5.4 4.5 4.6 4.5 3.8 3.2
Current Account Balance
(US$bn)
148.2 277.4 330.6 210.4 240.5 244.7 248.9 222.6
% of GDP 1.5 2.6 3.0 1.9 2.1 2.0 1.9 1.5

e = consensus estimate from latest survey.

Global trade, especially the trading partners of the United States, faces a period of possible upheaval and deep uncertainty after Donald Trump won the presidential race last November. Mr. Trump advocated inward looking trade policies during his campaign, and in one of his first moves he withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal last month. Mr. Trump has made clear his dislike for multinational trade agreements, preferring bilateral trade deals, and has now set his sights on renegotiating the NAFTA free trade pact. The Trump administration's programme of protectionist policies has raised concerns about their impact on the global economy. In particular, this trend toward growing protectionism poses great risks for Asia's export-oriented economies. President Trump's threat to levy tariffs on some imports could lead to retaliation against the US, which in turn may result in weaker global growth. Indeed, the large US trade deficit with China has been a major bone of contention for many years and Trump's protectionist trade policies run the risk of spawning a trade war between the world's two largest economies. The rest of Asia may also suffer due to intra-regional trade, since many Asian countries are part of the regional supply chain.


Export and Import Volumes
% change from previous year, constant prices Historical Data Consensus Forecasts
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
MALAYSIA  
Exports, Goods & Services, 2010 prices 0.3 5.0 0.6 -0.1e 1.6 2.0 2.9 3.5
Imports, Goods & Services, 2010 prices 1.7 4.0 1.2 0.0e 1.9 2.1 2.9 3.3
Net Exports, contribution to GDP growth, % -1.0 1.2 -0.4 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.3 0.4
SOUTH KOREA  
Exports, Goods & Services, chained 2010 prices 4.3 2.0 0.8 1.4 2.7 2.5 2.6 2.9
Imports, Goods & Services, chained 2010 prices 1.7 1.5 3.2 3.0 3.7 2.5 2.7 2.9
Net Exports, contribution to GDP growth, % 1.5 0.4 -1.2 -0.7 -0.3 0.1 0.0 0.1

e = consensus estimate from latest survey.

 

The table above shows our panellists’ projections for growth in goods and services exports and imports, measured in real terms (i.e. excluding the effects of changes in trade prices). Unfortunately, we were unable to poll for these forecasts in every country we cover (due mainly to problems with data availability). In each case, we have also calculated estimates of the contribution to growth implied by our panels’ forecasts for changes in export and import volumes, measured as the change in net exports (goods and services exports minus goods and services imports) as a percentage of GDP in the previous year. This indicates whether the external sector is adding to or subtracting from overall GDP growth.

A portion of text from Asia Pacific Consensus Forecasts, February 13, 2017.