Friday, July 20, 2012

Early Indications of Weak June Global Trade

I updated my series for global trade (above - imports and exports should match but don't due to measurement error).  The monthly data (with partial data through June) come from the WTO and I seasonally adjust them.  At this point, May is a pretty solid data point but June is based on a sample of only 11 out of 70 countries, so is preliminary. However, imports and exports (which are essentially independent samples for this purpose) agree on the direction of change in June, if not the magnitude.

After growing from early 2009 to mid 2011, global trade appears to have roughly stagnated for most of the last 12 months.  In particular, it appears to have had a bump up in February of this year, but then to have fallen back in March and April.  A small bump in May has now been, it seems, offset by a larger fall in June.  This continues to suggest that the global economy is either contracting, or at best growing very slowly.

I will try to remember to update this in a week or two once we have some more countries reporting.

1 comment:

Emil said...

Although it should be noted that Europe, which is the largest economic bloc in the world, accounts for much of that stagnation, at least in 2011. My guess is that if we would have had excluded Europe, we would have seen a more gentle upward slope.

On the other hand, you can't really exclude Europe in the trade data because the declines in trade for others which are affected by Europe, how do you measure that exactly? You can't.
Because there are indirect effects too.

And even if you could exclude Europe in a direct way, my guess is that this summer, with the falling Indian and Chinese GDP growth rates, it's more broad.

A recession looks more and more likely by the day.