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May 22, 2018
Global trade growth expected to soften in second quarter, according to WTO
The World Trade Organization's (WTO) latest trade indicator (WTOI) data indicates that the strong rate of global trade expansion is likely to continue, while slowing slightly in the second quarter of 2018.
The indicator's current value of 101.8 remains above the baseline value of 100 for the index but below the previous value of 102.3, which suggests continued solid trade growth in the second quarter of 2018 but probably at a somewhat slower pace than in the first quarter.
The moderate dip in the overall WTOI index was driven by declines in component indices for export orders and air freight. The forward-looking export orders index dropped sharply, falling from an above-trend plateau to a below-trend value (98.1) in the latest month. While the air freight index remains above trend (102.5), it has lost momentum in recent months.
Container port throughput remains above trend (105.8) but shows signs of plateauing, while automobile sales (97.9) and agricultural raw materials (95.9) are currently weighing down the WTOI. In contrast to the mixed results elsewhere, the index for electronic components trade (104.2) has turned up, climbing above trend.
Link: World Trade Outlook Indicator (pdf)
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