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Han de Jong, chief economist at ABN AMRO, suggests that a significant deterioration of global trade occurred in the last couple of months of last year and the first months of the current year.

Key Quotes

“The escalation of the trade conflict between the US and China and to a lesser extent between the US and other countries may have played a role. In addition, slower growth in China must have been an important driver as must have been the global IT cycle.”

“I am looking for some improvement in the months ahead. There has been a clear improvement in some Chinese data. But before getting overly enthusiastic, one must bear in mind that the Chinese data are not extremely reliable and can be volatile. So you would like to see confirmation in the months ahead in the Chinese data, but also confirmation in the data of countries with strong economic ties with China.”