The Goods Trade Barometer (WTO), a composite indicator of world trade, stood at 100 points in June 2022.
In general, this indicator provides real-time information on the trajectory of merchandise trade relative to recent trends.
The reading coincides exactly with the reference value of the index, indicating an expansion within the trend.
So the barometer index is below the merchandise trade volume index, suggesting that year-on-year trade growth may slow further in the second quarter, although it remains positive as the drag from the Russia–Ukraine conflict is offset by the relaxation of pandemic controls in China.
The volume of world merchandise trade stagnated and year-on-year trade growth slowed to 3.2% in the first quarter, down from 5.7% in the fourth quarter of last year.
However, the first-quarter slowdown only partly reflects the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, which erupted in late February. The Covid-19 blockades in China also weighed on trade in the first quarter.
Trade growth in the first quarter is consistent with the WTO’s most recent trade forecast from last April, which projected 3.0% growth in global merchandise trade volume in 2022.
However, uncertainty about the forecast has increased due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, rising inflationary pressures and expected policy tightening in advanced economies.
The indices that make up the barometer are mixed, with most showing on-trend or below-trend growth.
The export orders index (100.1) is on trend, but down.
On the other hand, the automotive products index (99.0) is slightly below trend, but has lost its upward momentum.
The air transportation (96.9) and electronic components (95.6) indexes are below trend and pointing downward, while the raw materials index (101.0) has recently risen slightly above trend.
Finally, the main exception is the container shipping index (103.2), which has risen firmly above trend as shipments through Chinese ports have increased due to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.