Tim Condon, Chief Economist at ING, suggests that barring a rebound in oil prices, base effects are not going to kick in until year end and until they do the big year-over-year export and import contractions will persist. Key Quotes “February trade data put year-to-date export growth at -17.8% YoY, which looks like a third step down in growth in the last year. The EU and Asia (Japan and ASEAN) were mostly responsible for the first step down, from 7.5% on average from January 2012 through December 2014, to -0.5% YoY in January-July 2015. The US replaced Japan among the countries responsible for the second step down, to -4.8% in August-December 2015. The third step down, to -17.8% in January-February 2016, was due to across-the-board weakness. A slowdown in US$-value export growth in early 2016 would be consistent with the turmoil in global financial markets earlier this year, which also was associated with an 18% monthly decline in global oil prices. Barring a rebound in oil prices, base effects are not going to kick in until year end and until they do the big year-over-year export and import contractions will persist.” For more information, read our latest forex news.