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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.”