Global trade expansion is likely to move down further in the third quarter of this year, according to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) released on Thursday (9).
The most recent WTOI reading of 100.3 is below the previous value of 101.8 recorded in May 2018 and 102.3 recorded in February, this year.
The new figure, 100.3 is just above the baseline value of 100 for the index, signalling an easing of trade growth in the coming months in line with medium-term trends.
“This loss of momentum reflects weakness in component indices including export orders and automobile production and sales, which may be responding to the ratcheting up of trade tensions. The new data remain primarily in line with the WTO’s most recent trade prediction issued on April 12, 2018, which forecast a moving down merchandise trade volume growth from 4.7 per cent in 2017 to 4.4 per cent in 2018. Rising trade tensions continue to pose risks to the trade forecast and will be monitored closely going forward,” WTO added.
According to WTO report, “The moderation in the overall WTOI index was driven by export orders (97.2), which have declined steadily over the course of the year, and automobile production and sales (98.1), which have risen slightly recently but remain below trend. The indices for air freight (100.9) and container port throughput (102.2) remain above trend but growth momentum in both appears to be past its peak. Electronic components stayed above trend (102.2) while agricultural raw materials (100.1) moved from below trend to on trend.”