The Barometer of trade in services index stands at 102.5 points, reported the World Trade Organization (WTO).
How to interpret this? This barometer is a coincident indicator, with fluctuations coinciding with (rather than anticipating) changes in actual service activity, but can be seen as a bit ahead of time, as it will generally be released earlier than conventional services trade statistics.
As such, the Services Trade Barometer offers an additional perspective on the state of world trade and its near-term outlook.
Earlier, last March, the WTO published that the barometer stood at 104.7 points.
The Barometer has risen above the World Services Trade Activity Index and remains above the 100 benchmark despite a recent decline.
This suggests that world trade in services will continue to recover in the second and third quarters once official statistics are available for these periods. However, the expansion could follow a new and lower trajectory if the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic turns out to be long-lasting.
The volume of world trade in services fell 13.9% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021 according to the activity index for world trade in services, which provides a rough measure of the volume of world trade in services taking into account changes in prices and rates. exchange.
Trade in services already fell drastically at the beginning of the pandemic but, unlike trade in goods, it has only achieved a partial recovery since then.
The recent performance of trade in services differs from the financial crisis of 2008-09, when trade in services was more resilient than trade in goods.
YoY growth in services trade should turn very positive in the second quarter due to a low base value in the previous year
Although most component indices are on or above trend, the overall picture is mixed.
The PMI indices for global services (102.7) and financial services (100.2) have declined, suggesting a slowdown in the pace of growth.
Meanwhile, the ICT services index (100.0) has returned to trend.
Air passenger transport (105.6) has recently recovered, but remains well below pre-pandemic levels.
For its part, growth in container shipping (106.8) has moderated even when performance has reached record levels.
The recent increase in shipping costs appears to be due more to strong demand for traded goods than supply restrictions. Construction is the only component that has fallen below trend (97.4).