The WTO’s latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) suggests that global merchandise trade growth will continue to strengthen in the third quarter of 2017. The latest reading of 102.6 is higher than the previous reading of 102.2 issued in May this year, suggesting sustained momentum for trade growth. Strong performances in air freight, export orders and container shipping are balanced by weaker results in other indices.
The latest reading of 102.6 is the highest level of the indicator since April 2011, suggesting that trade volume growth will continue to be above trend in the third quarter of 2017. Strong growth in export orders, air freight and container shipping is leading the upward trend in the indicator as economic activity picks up around the world. Results for agricultural raw materials and electronic components trade have been weaker, but both indices have turned up recently.
The WTOI is designed to provide "real time" information on the trajectory of world trade relative to recent trends. Combining several trade-related indices into a single composite indicator, the WTOI measures short run performance against medium-term trends.
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