Despite today’s less-than-favorable global trading environment, companies across Europe and the US still have plenty of appetite for expanding their export activities in 2023. That positive – if sometimes guarded – outlook is revealed in detail in the latest , where 70% of the nearly 3,000 companies questioned say they expect the revenue they generate through exports to increase by at least 2% during the year. Interestingly, that flies in the face of forecasts that suggest global trade volumes for 2023 will slow to -0.7%.
It’s a contradiction that Allianz Trade’s Head of Corporate Research, Ano Kuhanathan, says needs to be unpacked: “The forecast of a slowdown in global trade contrasts with the fact that we have exporters in some countries still expecting strong growth in their export markets, alongside other country outlooks that are much less optimistic.”
Across the seven countries covered in the survey, over 75% of exporters in the UK, US, Spain, and France predict an upturn in export revenues; on the other hand, companies in countries most affected by the energy crisis – Germany, Poland, and Italy – are more downbeat, with an average of 60% expecting international growth.
The mixed picture reflects the strengths and weaknesses of individual economies, highlights Kuhanathan. Good performance in the agri-food sector, for example, is boosting optimism among French and Spanish companies. But in the case of Germany, a greater reliance on manufacturing activity means only one in two firms expect any kind of growth in international trade in 2023.
“Wherever you are, however, there is no suggestion of wild growth. Even optimistic corporates are talking of a 2% to 5% rise,” he says, spotlighting four trends in global trade that emerge from the survey that businesses should keep top of mind.