Goldman says Asia's trade slump is showing signs of bottoming

Container trucks make their way past stacked containers at the Port of Los Angeles on June 18, 2019. Goldman economists noted a substantial pick up in exports to the US from Asian economies including Taiwan, Vietnam and India that's effectively cance
Container trucks make their way past stacked containers at the Port of Los Angeles on June 18, 2019. Goldman economists noted a substantial pick up in exports to the US from Asian economies including Taiwan, Vietnam and India that's effectively canceling out the fall in shipments from China.PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - There are signs that Asia's export slump is bottoming out.

That's according to Goldman Sachs Group economists who highlight a substantial pick up in exports to the US from Asian economies including Taiwan, Vietnam and India that's effectively canceling out the fall in shipments from China.

"Initial shocks from the trade war might be behind us, with Asian exports to China recovering and tech exports catching up with stable non-tech exports," Goldman economists led by Andrew Tilton wrote in a note. "Also, a rebound in the Asian trade cycle seems overdue, with Asian exports undershooting trade partners' activity growth and the current downturn being sustained longer than past cycles."

Chinese and American trade negotiators meet again in Shanghai this week for the first round of meetings between both sides since talks broke down in May.

Even if trade tensions escalate, an expected wave of supportive measures from governments and central banks to underpin economic growth will aid the trade recovery, Goldman argues. The Federal Reserve is tipped to cut interest rates this week for the first time in a decade.

For sure, additional US tariffs on Chinese goods would have an impact.

"Our view is, however, that the escalation would likely be temporary ahead of an eventual trade agreement, and potential damages could be mitigated by ongoing shifts in supply chains," Goldman's economists wrote.

"In the event of further escalation in the trade tensions beyond our baseline, Asian trade may undergo another downturn which, if sustained for the coming year, could make the current downcycle the longest since the 1990s."