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WTO: Services Trade Barometer reaches 105.5

The Services Trade Barometer rose above trend to 105.5, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported Thursday.

That level is above the benchmark value of 100 for the index and above the previous reading of 102.5 in September 2021.

From the WTO’s point of view, the rebound suggests that services trade will continue to post gains in the second quarter.

The Services Trade Barometer is outperforming the Goods Trade Barometer, indicating the resilience of services trade to the conflict in Ukraine and signaling a possible shift in patterns of consumption of goods and back to services as the Covid-19 pandemic eases.

The World Services Trade Activity Index provides a rough measure of the actual volume of world trade in services, taking into account changes in prices and exchange rates.

Likewise, the volume of trade in services has increased slowly but steadily since bottoming out in the second quarter of 2020 in the early stages of the global pandemic.

Already the index continued to move towards recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a year-on-year increase of 15.6%, although it remained 8.9% below its pre-pandemic peak in the second quarter of 2019.

WTO

Among the indices that make up the Services Trade Barometer, the passenger air transport index (117.1) posted the strongest increase, contributing to the previous trend reading in the global index.

Also strong results from the services PMI (105.1) and ICT services (104.2) helped lift the services barometer into expansion territory.

While remaining above trend, the financial services index (101.7) appears to have lost momentum, possibly due to sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine.

Other indices, including container shipping (101.5) and construction (101.1), remain slightly above trend.

The Services Trade Barometer is a composite coincident indicator of global services trade activity, combining six component indices.

Services trade activity is a rough measure of the volume of world trade in services, calculated by adjusting nominal services trade statistics to account for changes in prices and exchange rates.

Readings of 100 on the Services Trade Barometer indicate growth in line with medium-term trends; readings above 100 suggest growth above trend, while those below 100 indicate the opposite. The direction of the change reflects the momentum compared to the previous month.

 

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