Maersk Asia Pacific market update (May 2023)

'Growth momentum continued to improve throughout the first quarter of 2023'

Global PMIs show that growth momentum continued to improve throughout the first quarter of 2023. This growth is being driven by services as China continues post-pandemic reopening and energy prices stay low.

Global manufacturing 'orders-to-inventory' ratio is unchanged in April, sitting at 0.99, while manufacturing export orders increased slightly.

The inflation rate in Europe remains at record highs, following a rapid increase throughout 2022 and the peak remains uncertain. The inflation rate in the United States, however, has reached a peak and the squeeze on consumer spending power should ease off. Core inflation, excluding food and energy, is proving sticky and it remains uncertain when this should drop down to the FED’s inflation target of 2%.

Trending Topic - E-commerce
E-commerce saw rapid growth during the pandemic, and consumer preference for shopping online isn’t expected to fade any time soon. Growth in E-commerce in Asia Pacific is expected to outpace the rest of the world through to 2026 with nearly every country in the region having experienced an increase in e-commerce penetration rates over each of the past seven years.

Digital payments are becoming more widespread
One of the major factors driving e-commerce is widespread adoption of digital wallets in the Asia Pacific region. 65% of consumers here claim mobile apps are their most common channel for purchasing goods with 35% paying using a digital wallet. This is quickly becoming a point of focus for businesses in the region, as 81% of consumers claim that a positive digital payment experience would convince them to choose digital wallet payments over traditional payment methods in the future.

Social commerce is on the rise
Asia Pacific is seeing significant growth in the social commerce area. This relatively new concept, integrating social apps and e-commerce channels, is becoming the new normal for younger consumers. This gross merchandise value for this sector is expected to show a 10.6% compound annual growth rate through to 2028.

A greater emphasis on speed
Multiple studies show speed of delivery has a major impact on purchase decisions for e-consumers. 75% of consumers in Asia expect a product ordered before midnight to be delivered the next day. With e-commerce growing, this is placing stress on supply chains to meet customer demand for quick delivery. Intermodal transportation is an important part of helping companies meet these changing demands.

Vietnam experiencing air slowdown
Aviation cargo transport throughput for Vietnam dropped 28.2% year on year for January and February 2023. This is due to a global recession causing declining consumption. While China is quickly returning to normalcy, delivery levels of Chinese products and materials to other countries have yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.

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