World Trade: Correction?

2 min
Mahamoud Islam
Mahamoud Islam Senior Economist for Asia


The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis estimated that global trade growth decelerated to +0.7% y/y in November from +5.1% y/y in October. The institution assumed a m/m standstill of both imports and exports in the U.S. – as data were not available because of the government shutdown – taking the y/y growth of imports and exports to +4.6% (from +6.4% in October) and +2.8% (from +4.8%) respectively. Looking at other major economic blocs, import growth in November contracted in Europe and slowed rapidly in Emerging Asia (+2.3% y/y, down from +11.9%). Export growth decreased in both the Eurozone (-2.5% y/y) and Emerging Europe (-1.5%) and decelerated in Emerging Asia (+0.8% y/y, after +9.3%). Advanced indicators point to a weak momentum going forward. The first trade figures available for December (e.g. China, South Korea) were generally disappointing while business surveys (PMIs) point to lower new export orders. The near-term outlook is still clouded by U.S.-China trade related uncertainties. Global trade growth is expected to slow further to +3.6% this year, after +3.8% in 2018.