BY MIMI WHITEFIELD
Prospects for trade are looking up.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. business leaders are expecting to see a rapid increase in the volume of exports and imports over the next six months, according to the HSBC Global Connections Trade Report.
That’s a marked improvement over the second half of 2012, when just 48.3 percent of business leaders said they expected trade would rise.
The reasons for optimism? The business leaders cite improving global economic conditions and stepped-up demand for infrastructure goods.
That sanguine view of trade prospects pushed the HSBC Trade Confidence Index from 107 to 114, highest since the international bank began the index. HSBC’s global survey of 5,800 small and middle-market businesses included about 300 U.S. firms that are engaged in international trade.