The WTOI’s current value of 101.8 remains above the baseline value of 100 for the index, but below the previous value of 102.3, which suggests continued solid trade growth in the second quarter of 2018, but probably at a somewhat slower pace than in the first quarter.
The latest results are broadly in line with the WTO's most recent trade forecast issued on 12 April 2018, which predicted a moderation of merchandise trade volume growth from 4.7% in 2017 to 4.4% in 2018. Risks to the trade forecast posed by rising trade tensions remain present. Namely:
- The moderate dip in the overall WTOI index was driven by declines in component indices for export orders and air freight.
- The forward-looking export orders index dropped sharply, falling from an above-trend plateau to a below-trend value (98.1) in the latest month.
- While the air freight index remains above trend (102.5), it has lost momentum in recent months.
- Container port throughput remains above trend (105.8) but shows signs of plateauing,
- Automobile sales (97.9) and agricultural raw materials (95.9) are currently weighing down the WTOI.
- In contrast to the mixed results elsewhere, the index for electronic components trade (104.2) has turned up, climbing above trend.
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