WTO quarterly trade growth indicator drops from May

The headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) pictured in Geneva April 12, 2017. — Reuters pic
The headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) pictured in Geneva April 12, 2017. — Reuters pic

GENEVA, Aug 15 — The World Trade Organisation (WTO) said today that its latest economic barometer showed that the growth in merchandise trade was likely to weaken further in the third quarter.

Its quarterly trade growth indicator showed growth in global goods trade was likely to weaken, with a reading of 95.7. In its previous quarterly report in May, the WTO said that growth was likely to remain weak, with a reading of 96.3.

A score of below 100 in the indicator, a composite measure of seven drivers of trade, signals below-trend growth.

Referring to a mid-year WTO report issued in July, it said that trade flows have been hit by new restrictions at historically high levels. “Tensions leading to higher trade barriers and greater uncertainty pose significant downside risks to trade growth forecasts,” it added.

Sustained weakness in the latest index was driven by below-trend values in all component indices, it said.

International air freight, electronic components indices now show readings well below previous levels, while automobile production and sales, and agricultural raw materials seem to have bottomed out, the WTO said. — Reuters

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