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World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI)

Indicator signals further loss of momentum

The World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) is designed to provide "real time" information on the trajectory of world trade relative to recent trends. The latest...

WTI (Jan./Feb. 2019)

...reading of 96.3 is the weakest since March 2010 and is below the baseline value of 100 for the index, signalling below-trend trade expansion into Q1-2019.

Weakness in the overall index was driven by steep declines in most component indices. Indices for export orders (95.3), air freight (96.8), automobile production and sales (92.5), electronic components (88.7) and agricultural raw materials (94.3) have all fallen below trend. Only the container port throughput index has remained on trend (100.3). Simultaneous declines in multiple trade-related indicators should put policy makers on guard for a sharper slowdown should current trade tensions remain unresolved. Conversely, greater certainty and improvement in the policy environment could bring about a swift rebound in trade growth.

About the Indicator: Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends; readings greater than 100 suggest above trendgrowth, while those below 100 indicate the opposite. The direction of change reflects momentum compared the previous month.