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HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast Finds U.S., Global Trade to Accelerate Ahead of Expectations

21 February 2012

***U.S. trade volumes to grow by 69% percent by 2026***

***World trade volumes to grow by 86% percent by 2026***

*** U.S. exports expected to fuel U.S. trade growth in near term; American companies must raise annual trade activity by 3.68 percent over next 15 years to keep pace***

International trade growth in the United States and elsewhere around the world will accelerate beginning in 2014, rather than 2015 as previously forecast, as the global economy enters a new period of trade growth, according to HSBC's Global Connections trade forecast. Forecasters find international businesses will recover more rapidly than previously expected and increase trade activity earlier due to two key trends: trade fueling more trade and international businesses in search of the best trade partners developing new trade corridors, regardless of location.

The latest quarterly HSBC Global Connections trade forecast also finds:

  • Overall global trade is projected to grow by $1 trillion year-on-year to 2016
  • Annual growth rate of U.S. exports to China forecasted to outpace U.S. imports from China during next five years
  • U.S. motor vehicle exports to China forecasted to grow at annualized rate of nearly 12 percent during the next five years
  • Worldwide U.S. exports of blood products, antisera and vaccines forecast to grow by nearly eight percent during same period
  • U.S. trade growth rate increases substantially from 1.95 percent annually to 5.7 percent between 2017 and 2021; still below forecasted annual world rate of 6.23 percent during same period

This long-range U.S. and global trade snapshot, encompassing the next five, 10 and 15 years, is part of a broader look at global trade under the umbrella of HSBC's Global Connections. The quarterly global forecasting effort spanning 37 countries is a comprehensive exploration of the future opportunities for businesses operating internationally, combining trade data from around the world with lead indicators of world trade and macro-economic trend information.

"The U.S. economy is expected to grow moderately in 2012, but our latest trade forecast shows that to accelerate growth and keep pace with the rest of the world, particularly the emerging world, over the long-term, U.S. businesses will want to begin better connecting themselves to international markets now," said Stephen Bottomley, Senior Executive Vice President, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC - North America. "Across industries, and across regions of the world, the trade forecast reveals there is plenty of opportunity for many years to come for forward-looking internationally minded companies that plan ahead. HSBC can serve as a trusted advisor and provide business customers a full spectrum of products and services that can assist them with thinking out and executing their international growth plans."

Beyond sheer numbers, HSBC's Global Connections further highlights how innovative business activity is reshaping the trading world. It identifies new and emerging trade hubs - countries that are developing or expanding their role as gateways in key trade corridors or between regions. For example:

  • Emerging trade corridors suggest that North America will be reducing reliance on China with Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Poland all emerging as key trade partners
  • Inter-regional trade remains significant for North America, largely driven by trade between the U.S. and Canada, with Mexico accounting for roughly 25 percent of all North American inter-regional trade
  • Trade growth in Latin America is predicted to grow at a third more than predicted for the rest of the world which reflects strong infrastructure development in the region

HSBC's Global Connections also examines global, regional and country-level industry sectors where trade growth is forecasted to occur. In the U.S., those sectors include:

  • Refined petroleum products - including gasoline - where U.S. exports to Brazil and Colombia are forecast to annually grow at 16 percent during the next five years
  • Packaged fertilizer where U.S. exports to Mexico are forecast to annually grow 14.5 percent during the next five years
  • Exports of television receivers, video monitors, projectors and printing and ancillary machinery exports to Mexico are forecast to rise 13 percent and 12 percent , respectively

"The growth of trade is not merely an emerging market story, rather an international one. In 2011, U.S. exports grew an impressive 14.5 percent, with exports of U.S. manufactured goods reaching a record $1.27 trillion," said Christopher Lewis, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance, HSBC - North America. "With the right focus and commitment, the U.S. and the businesses that drive its economy have the opportunity to surpass those marks if they manage their supply chains and do business with the best trading partners regardless of where they are located in the world."

For a copy of the global report and further information, visit:

For more than a century, HSBC, an institution founded in 1865 to finance the growing trade between China and Europe, has become widely recognized as a leading authority and trusted advisor on international trade and finance matters. HSBC has committed to facilitate $750 billion of world trade by 2013, working with international businesses to open up new markets and trade opportunities, by innovating how they are financing trade. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is further assisting business through its BUSINESS without BORDERS® initiative, a first-of-its-kind knowledge exchange for U.S.-based companies doing business internationally or aspiring to grow internationally, and through its partnership in the Export-Import Bank of the United States' Global Access for Small Business initiative.

Notes to editors:

About the Trade Forecast
The Trade Forecast has a unique approach to understanding the drivers of trade from a business perspective, informed by: trade trends, measuring merchandise trade, macroeconomic and market influences on trade (for example GDP, oil prices, inflation, foreign direct investment), and business environment influences on trade (including regulation, demographics, access to capital and finance). The research has been commissioned by HSBC and undertaken by Delta Economics.

The economic and business narratives stem from a broader documentary search that includes material from National Statistical Offices, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, economic blogs, the Economist Intelligence Unit, Bloomberg, the Financial Times and other professional and financial services news websites.

About HSBC Commercial Banking
Headquartered in London, HSBC is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC is one of the world's most international commercial banks with over three million customers in more than 60 markets.

About HSBC Bank USA, N.A.
HSBC Bank USA, National Association, with total assets of $209.3 billion as of 30 September 2011 (US GAAP), serves around 4 million customers through its personal financial services, commercial banking, private banking, asset management, and global banking and markets segments. It operates more than 470 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 370 in New York state as well as branches in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon and Washington State. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc., one of the nation's largest bank holding companies by assets. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.

About HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, North and Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,716bn at 30 September 2011, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations.

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