Global Trade Barometer DHL -

Global Trade Barometer DHL

World trade at a crossroads.

Global Trade Barometer DHL

Global Trade Barometer DHL predicts a slight decline in world trade. Compared to June 2019, the overall index is reduced by 1 point and currently stands at 47 points. Thus, a slowdown in the global economy is expected in the next three months. Nevertheless, there is a significant slowdown in the rate of decline compared to the previous quarter, when the general index was reduced by 8 points. Stagnation is predicted in almost all countries included in the study. So, the index of five countries out of seven fell below 50 points. The current decline is due to a deterioration in the forecast for the development of trade in the world air transportation segment (45 points, -4 to the June figure), while the forecast for the ocean freight segment remained unchanged (48 points).
“Cold trade wars continue in the world. Geopolitical tensions lead to instability. Surprisingly, against this background, world trade still continues to develop. Despite the fact that the Global Trade Barometer index was again lowered to 47 points, global trade is still not losing ground, ”said Tim Sharvat, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. “This confirms our assumptions about further globalization and the key role that logistics will continue to play in world trade.”

The overall picture points to stagnation in world trade
The study shows minimal differences between the indices of all seven countries and slight changes compared with June. The indices of all economies fluctuate around 50 points, which is a threshold for growth. In five of the seven countries included in the study, growth rates are projected to decline, as indicated by indicators below 50 points.

Esvar Prasad, professor of trade policy and economics at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York, USA) noted: “The tension in trade relations between China and the USA is growing and is already having a negative impact on global supply chains: business is adapting to a new reality, while both countries are preparing for a long trade war. In addition, it is likely that global trade will be adversely affected by trade conflicts in other parts of the world, for example, between Japan and Korea, as well as the prospect of a heavy Brexit. Due to the uncertain prospects for macroeconomic growth, the volume of business investments around the world is declining, which leads to extremely unfavorable consequences in the field of cross-border trade in machinery and equipment. Household consumption remains high in most large economies, but stagnation in consumer durables trading, which is reflected in the Global Trade Barometer indices by industry, portends a decline in this key industry for GDP growth. In general, new research data confirms the slowdown in world trade and reinforces concern about stagnation in the near future. ”

Only the UK and Japan have a favorable forecast for the next three months (53 points). However, the performance of these countries is unstable and varies from quarter to quarter: the forecast for Japan was improved compared to June, and the UK lost 3 points. Due to the unresolved situation with Brexit, British trade figures suffered both in the air transportation segment and in the ocean freight segment. The slowdown has affected several sectors of the economy, such as fashion and consumer goods, industrial raw materials and vehicles and spare parts. Japan's trade, on the contrary, shows growth: the forecast for the country is improved by 3 points to June. These positive changes were caused by increased trade in the ocean freight segment in Japan (55 points, +6), a significant increase in the industrial raw materials sector and an improvement in the forecast for export volumes in ocean container shipping. Despite this, even in Japan, the forecast for this quarter is not very rosy: stagnation is expected in many sectors of the economy.

The tensions in the two countries suffered from tensions in US-China trade relations

The intensity of the trade war between China and the United States continues to increase, which leads to negative sentiment in business circles and pessimistic forecasts for the development of trade. Despite an improvement of the index by 1 point, the US is expected to further decline in trade volumes, which reflects the current figure of 45 points. The forecast for development in the segment of air transportation and ocean freight has undergone insignificant changes compared with June. As for China, the country's forecast was worsened by 4 points and currently stands at 45 points. Basically, the decline in China is due to a sharp decline in the airline segment (43 points, -8).

South Korea closes the top three countries whose index is reduced to 45 points. The forecast for the other two countries included in the study, Germany and India, fell below the threshold value of 50 points and is 48 and 49 points, respectively.

02.10.2019 07:35:28
(Automatic translation)


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