- World Trade Collapses in Dollars, Languishes in Volume
by Wolf Richter, http://wolfstreet.com/
This wasn’t part of the rosy scenario.
The Merchandise World Trade Monitor by the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, a division of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, tracks global imports and exports in two measures: by volume and by unit price in US dollars. And the just released data for January was a doozie beneath the lackluster surface.
The World Trade Monitor for January, as measured in seasonally adjusted volume, declined 0.4% from December and was up a measly 1.1% from January a year ago. While the sub-index for import volumes rose 3% from a year ago, export volumes fell 0.7%. This sort of “growth,” languishing between slightly negative and slightly positive has been the rule last year.
The report added this about trade momentum:
Regional outcomes were mixed. Both import and export momentum became more negative in the United States. Both became more positive in the Euro Area. Import momentum in emerging Asia rose further, whereas export momentum in emerging Asia has been negative for four consecutive months.
This is also what the world’s largest container carrier, Maersk Lines, and others forecast for 2016: a growth rate of about zero to 1% in terms of volume. So not exactly an endorsement of a booming global economy.