WTO Goods Trade Barometer shows more flagging of goods trade into Q3
GENEVA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The World Trade Organization's (WTO) Goods Trade Barometer, showed Thursday that the growth of world merchandise trade volumes is likely to remain weak in the third quarter of 2019.
The barometer, formerly the World Trade Outlook Indicator, released Thursday showed its latest reading at 95.7.
That is lower than the previous release, signaling "that stronger trade growth is not yet in sight," said the WTO.
The revamped trade indicator suggests a further weakening of goods trade into the third quarter which in May showed a reading of 96.3.
The WTO said that the latest reading continues to fall well below the baseline value of 100 for the index of the renamed barometer.
The barometer features "a design revamp" ahead of the launch of a new Services Trade Barometer in September, said the WTO.
"The loss of momentum in goods trade has already been confirmed in previous quarters where official data are available," said the WTO.
The barometer suggests that below-trend expansion in merchandise trade will persist in the coming months.
The international air freight (91.4) and electronic components (90.7) indices showed the most substantial deviations from trend, with readings well below previous releases.
Indices for export orders (97.5), automobile production and sales (93.5) and agricultural raw materials (97.1) all remained below trend although they show some signs of having bottomed out. Only the index for container shipping (99.0) was close to the baseline value of 100.
In July the mid-year report of the WTO Director-General, Roberto Azevedo, underlined that trade flows hit by new restrictions continued to be at historically high levels between mid-October 2018 and mid-May 2019.
"Tensions leading to higher trade barriers and greater uncertainty pose significant downside risks to trade growth forecasts," said the WTO.