Global trade continues to grow

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Global trade is continuing to increase, but the rate of growth has slowed in the past three months, according to the DHL Global Trade Barometer.

The index now stands at 63 points – a decline of four points on the previous quarter. Nevertheless, an index value above 50 indicates positive growth, while values below 50 indicate contraction.

“After months of hot conditions and bright prospects in world trade, temperatures are dropping. We are moving into more normal and cooler – but still nice – temperatures,” says Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.

“Despite rising political tensions among global players over trade-related issues, the DHL Global Trade Barometer indicates solid positive growth for world trade in the coming three month.”

The overall slight reduction is largely driven by lower growth rates of air trade where the index value declined by eight points to 62.

In contrast, the growth rate for global ocean trade merely decreased by one point to 63 points.

The barometer focuses on seven countries. India is the only country with simultaneously increasing and very high prospects for trade growth, the UK has an unchanged outlook, and all other countries with slightly diminishing prospects.

The UK maintained an unchanged index value of 57. The barometer described this as “somewhat surprising, given the tedious progress of Brexit negotiations and heightened speculations about a hard Brexit.”

The barometer, which is produced in cooperation with Accenture, also said that: “Despite intensifying global trade disputes, mainly between China and the US, these countries remain in growth mode, however, at a slower pace. US growth prospects slowed down by five points to 63. The Chinese trade outlook decreased by four points to 59.

“Most other constituent countries witnessed decelerating trade dynamics, too: South Korea – still one of the previous forecast’s strongest growth drivers – saw its outlook reduced by five points to 69. Likewise, Germany’s trade growth forecast was reduced by six points to 58. The outlook for Japan went down by three points to 64.”

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