Global trade has been softening as Western consumers ease back on purchases of the consumer goods they binged on during the pandemic. Chinese exports are falling at steep rates, along with those of other Asian exporters. Jason Douglas reports:

Exports are crumbling in China and across Asia, showing the deepening toll that rising interest rates are taking on global trade and economic growth.

Trade has been slowing for months, but the pullback has further to run, economists say, as central banks keep up their campaigns to beat back inflation and the U.S. and Europe slide toward recession.

Chinese exports fell at their steepest annual pace in June since the early days of the pandemic in February 2020. China isn’t the only Asian export powerhouse reporting sinking overseas sales. Exports from Taiwan fell 23% in June compared with a year earlier, while Vietnamese exports were down 11%. Exports from South Korea were down 6%, according to official figures compiled by data provider CEIC.

Global trade has been softening for months as Western consumers quit spending so much on electronics, home improvements and other consumer goods after splurging during the pandemic. Instead, they have chosen to spend more of their income on eating out, traveling and other services.

Now, trade is facing new pressure from cooling growth in the U.S. and Europe as surging borrowing costs squeeze consumer and business spending. Many economists expect the U.S. to tip into recession this year.

Read more here.