Year-on-year, world export volume rose 6% after three years of stagnation, according to the Netherlands Central Planning Bureau. Most important, emerging economies’ exports rose by 10%.
There’s a debate in the investment community as to whether the emerging market rally is the result of excess liquidity in the dollar sector, or real economic growth. Morgan Stanley wrote this morning in a note to clients:
“USD liquidity drives EM higher: It is the increasing amount of USD liquidity ruling financial markets, pushing investors into riskier asset classes globally, leading towards a flattening of yield curves with the US taking the lead and risk premiums turning lower, and creating an ideal environment for holding on to yield-generating carry trades. Financial conditions have remained supportive.”
The surge in export growth, though, argues for a real-economic explanation for the rally. China’s growth surprised on the upside during the first quarter, and the consensus is that the mild credit tightening now underway won’t depress growth significantly. China continues to invest aggressively in infrastructure on its periphery.