World trade: Doubts remain, despite strong start to 2019 – ING


Timme Spakman, economist at ING, points out that the world trade grew by 2.3% in January 2019and is partly a rebound after the fall seen in both November and December 2018.

Key Quotes

“Growth was broad-based with the strongest growth seen in emerging Asia (+6.2%), which follows a decline of -6.5% in December.”

“Looking past the volatile growth figures, the three-month momentum shows a downward trend of -1.8%, indicating world trade is slowing.”

“The prospects for 2019 remain concerning as what seems to be a cyclical downturn is dragging world trade growth down further. Pivotal to the slowdown is lagging Chinese growth, which is partly due to the US-China trade war that undermines US demand for Chinese exports.”

“Considerable further downside risks are looming. Although the negotiations between the US and China continue, US demands remain very ambitious, leaving the potential for the talks to fail.”

“So all in all, January shows strong growth, but prospects remain pretty bleak.”

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