Exports and the Global Crisis: Still Alive, though Not Quite Kicking Yet

Publication | December 2009
Exports and the Global Crisis: Still Alive, though Not Quite Kicking Yet

This paper describes the severity of the declines of Asian exports during the recent global crisis and provides more detailed information on the hardest hit manufacturing and exporting industries. To do this, it uses various sources of data, including Industrial Statistics of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization as well as the latest monthly unemployment and exports data available from official sources. We find severe declines of exports across most product categories, and that the worst-hit sectors often consist of larger, more productive firms relative to other manufacturing sectors. Some of these sectors also employ higher percentages of women workers in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Nonetheless, although official unemployment rose across developing Asia, the level has yet to reach that of OECD countries. In further contrast to the jobless recovery facing some OECD countries, employment shows recent signs of stabilizing and even increasing. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on the recent upward trends in exports. While we see cautious optimism in the revival of exports, data indicates that Asian workers are not clearly out of the woods yet.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Declining Exports in Asia
  • Effect of the Global Crisis on Enterprises
  • Effect of Global Crisis on Workers
  • Exports Update and Unemployment
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes
  • References