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Economics

Asia Manufacturers Say the Pandemic-Driven Trade Boom Is Fading

  • Forward-looking indicators hint at softer export demand
  • Inflation expected to start weighing on US, European consumers

Clothing companies and gadget makers are among manufacturers across Asia seeing early signs of cooling demand from their global customers as soaring inflation takes hold.

Bumper exports from Asia, especially China, were a major dynamo in the global economy’s recovery from the pandemic. Recent data suggest that’s fading due to supply blockages linked to China’s aggressive Covid lockdowns and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Well-stocked inventories have been another headwind.