A remarkable export performance
At the onset of the global recession last year, exports were considered to be a major channel through which Bangladesh would have been affected. After the recession hit its most virulent phase after the Lehman collapse, within weeks the world trade collapsed. Exports from Asia shrunk heavily. But surprisingly, Bangladeshi export fell by much less. Then it started recovering much earlier than other comparable countries. A year after Lehman, while most Asian exports were still 15-20% lower, our exports were 5% higher.
The first chart shows all this.
The second chart shows the same information — export values indexed to Sep 2008 — for various types of exports from Bangladesh. Ready-made garments, accounting for 2/3rds of our exports, hardly suffered through the recession.
At the onset of the recession, optimists suggested that because our RMG exports were geared towards the budget end of the western market (characterised by Wal Mart), we would be relatively unaffected by the recession. The Wal Mart effect seems to have been vindicated by the data.
Overall, a remarkable export performance for Bangladesh.
(All data sourced from CEIC Asia database, and are smoothed with a 3 month moving average).