Ralph Atkins

The US sneezes, and the rest of the world catches a cold. Or maybe not these days?

Germany’s current dynamism reflects the increasing strength of its trading links with fast-growing Asian economies. The region’s rising importance forms part of a marked change in German export shares in the past three “crisis years,” according to economists at Unicredit’s Munich office. The chart, showing changes since 2007, shows how dependence on the US has fallen. Read more

James Politi

Today’s news that durable goods orders jumped by 2.9 per cent in April, which was almost double the rate expected by economists, was the latest reminder that US exporters are among the stars of this recovery.

Coming out of the global recession, demand for big-ticket items including cars, aircraft, and heavy equipment with a long shelf life has been steadily picking up not only in the US, but also in many of America’s largest export markets. So to what extent will the eurozone crisis affect their competitiveness, as the dollar strengthens against the euro and US products become more pricey? Furthermore, to what extent will slower growth and fiscal retrenchment in the eurozone undermine demand for US goods? Read more

Robin Harding

I’ve been asking around Tokyo about views on the push in the US for a stronger renminbi. See also Kevin Brown’s excellent piece in the paper yesterday.

The basic answer is: yes, a controlled and gradual appreciation in the renminbi against the dollar would be a good thing, to sustain global growth and reduce global imbalances. Read more

We all hear a lot about the limited growth opportunities of the PIGS – Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain and go-go growth in the BRICs – Brazil, Russia, India and China. It’s a shame, therefore that the PIGS are far more important for UK exports than BRICS.

A shame, but true. Britain exports twice as much to Spain as to China, for example. Here is the chart.

The better news – though it is too late for this recovery – is that the export shares are moving slowly but consistently towards BRICs from PIGS – below is that chart: Read more

Robin Harding

The real export data produced by the Bank of Japan (and hidden away on their website) is the best way to keep track of what is going on in the most crucial sector of Japan’s economy.

The more popular Ministry of Finance data are not adjusted for export prices, although as it happens, both sets tell the same story for December: that weaker figures the month before were a blip. Read more

China, India and Australia should all consider tightening monetary policy, says the IMF. Emerging economies show healthy signs, as US legislators fight to keep the house market moving, against falling prices, credit warnings and reduced mortgage applications Read more

The fall in the US dollar should be welcomed, as it will help correct global imbalances. The recovery
in China’s economy is gaining new impetus, amid concerns about the transition to a more balanced economy.  Read more

Ralph Atkins

Germany is losing the PR battle over trade imbalances, writes Ralph Atkins of the Financial Times Read more

The G20 wants to make a splash with a new framework for jobs and balanced world growth. This is a fine ambition, writes Chris Giles of the Financial Times, but haven’t we haven’t we been here before, he asks. IMF documents show the ambitions and process already exists. Read more

Well-being should be reflected in economic data, a commision will report today. This as the OECD sees positive signs in the world economy but retail data – and an escalating trade war – suggest otherwise Read more

Protectionism a likely US-China theme at the G20; domestic vs. imported inflation; the drop in US consumer debt explained; and continuing falls predicted for UK housing Read more