WTO World Trade Indicator Falls to 9-year Minimum
NEW YORK – February 20, 2019
World trade volumes continue to decline as economic growth has slowed in recent months in many countries.
A quarterly leading indicator of world merchandise trade slumped to its lowest reading in nine years on Tuesday.
As noted in the World Trade Organization, the key components of world trade continue to show negative dynamics. Since October 2018, the WTO has noted a noticeable decline in the general indicator of world trade, as well as its components - export orders, the volume of air cargo transportation, sales of cars, electronics and raw materials.
The WTO’s quarterly outlook indicator, a composite of seven drivers of trade, in the first quarter of 2019 decreased to 96.3 points. According to the organization, this is the lowest level for this indicator over the past 9 years since March 2010.
A reading below 100 signals below-trend growth in trade. Among the main negative factors of the deterioration of the situation in the organization, trade tensions were noted, as well as the persistence of political risks and financial volatility.
“This sustained loss of momentum highlights the urgency of reducing trade tensions, which together with continued political risks and financial volatility could foreshadow a broader economic downturn,” the WTO said in a statement.