Economic Forecast For U.S. Exports 2022-2023

United States exports will grow at a slow pace in 2022, with improvement in 2023. Key factors will be the COVID-19 pandemic, how our largest trading partners fare economically, and the path for the dollar. No boom is in sight, but neither is a bust.

blue and red Zeamarine ship during daytime

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Total international trade fell sharply in the pandemic, with most countries’ exports and imports both declining. Trade has rebounded but has not yet increased to the prior trend line. Transportation and labor shortages may lead to slower growth than underlying economics would otherwise dictate.

(Click on image to enlarge)

chart of global trade

Global trade has recovered from the pandemic recession.


The COVID pandemic brings great uncertainty to the forecast. The rise of the Delta variant is slowing economic activity in some countries, but not the most advanced nations, which have high vaccination rates. Although breakthrough cases (among people who had been vaccinated) are occurring, they average much milder symptoms and markedly less fatalities. Economic impacts are thus much milder. The assumption in this forecast is that the pandemic will decline around the world, though at varying rates. COVID will become endemic, and thus will be an economic problem for years to come, but with a much milder impact than we have seen so far. That means that U.S. exports should look better soon.

The global economy has regained much of its lost ground and should exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020. Brighter days are ahead in 2022 and 2023 according to the consensus tabulation by FocusEconomics. They tally up economic forecasters on the ground in different countries and regions to derive a world consensus economic forecast. This is probably the best methodology for big-picture economic predictions as it incorporates the knowledge of specialists in diverse countries.

Commodity prices also provide a good gauge of predicted future growth. Prices stopped their rise, indicating global expectations for economic expansion have leveled off. Oil prices match the general commodities trend.

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