Many economists expect a considerable U.S. economic slowdown within the next year, and recent trends across the global economy indicate a downturn is coming sooner rather than later. The Wall Street Journal reported Nov. 7 that China’s exports to the rest of the world unexpectedly shrank in October — most notably, Chinese exports to the U.S. dropped 13%. The WSJ cited data from China’s General Administration of Customs in that reporting.
The WSJ highlighted a slew of other economic trends concerning the U.S. and the rest of the world:
- The U.S. labor market is showing signs of cooling as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates in response to high inflation, a potential indicator of a looming recession.
- Growth is already slowing in the U.S., Europe and China simultaneously, but the International Monetary Fund warned last month that “the worst is yet to come” — the IMF expects global gross domestic product to expand 3.2% this year before regressing to 2.7% in 2023.
- Exports from China declined 0.3% last month compared to a year earlier. That was far below expectations of economists polled by the Journal, who forecast that exports would increase 4% year-over-year.
- South Korea and Taiwan were among other Asian nations to experience a slide in exports. South Korea’s Trade Ministry said exports dropped 5.7% in October year-over-year.
- China saw significant decreases in exports of products including home appliances and medical supplies, while South Korea’s exports of memory chips, petrochemicals and computers declined.
- The cost of shipping containers around the world has fallen in recent months. Prices for moving products from Asia to the U.S West Coast last were 87% lower year-over-year. The Journal also noted that ocean carriers are canceling “dozens of sailings on the world’s busiest routes during what is normally peak season.”