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BONN: March 28, 2018. The DHL/Accenture quarterly Global Trade Barometer, first published in January this year, continues to show positive growth for the next two months.

Based on a seven-country constituency, the index has risen two points to 66 since the beginning of the year – suggesting growth is gathering momentum according to DHL.

The index reflects an improvement driven by an increasingly positive trade outlook for the US (+2 points), China (+2 points) and Japan (+1) compared to February. However the downward trend in German trade (-3 points), together with a reduced outlook for the UK (-2), South Korea (-2) and India (-2), has contributed to a “dampened outlook”.

Global Trade BarometerDHL/Accenture suggest the overall global outlook for air trade dropped only slightly from last month (-1), and “remains very positive at 70” as growth in China (+3) and the US (+2) is expected to continue even as German and South Korean growth fell six points in February.

Meanwhile the overall outlook for global ocean trade improved one point to 63 compared to the previous month with the US (+3) and China (+1), together with Japan (+2), offsetting a slightly reduced growth outlook for India (-2), the UK (-1) and Germany (-1).

The Barometer, an early indicator for the current and future state of global trade, is based on import and export data for a number of intermediates and early-cycle commodities that serve as the basis for further industrial production.

Index sources are aggregated market data from air and containerized ocean freight from China, South Korea, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, and the US that account for more than 75 percent of world trade.

DHL/Accenture then evaluate the data using artificial intelligence and various statistical methods and compressed to a single index value that represents the weighted average of the current growth and the next two months of trade.

The Chinese trade index improved two points to 61 from February and together with the UK, remains the lowest value of all seven countries on the Index.

Machinery Parts and Consumer Goods continue to be important drivers for Chinese air trade, particularly exports, while import growth is expected to slow down in the next quarter with the decline in High Technology demand.

Ocean trade growth is expected to continue with a moderate outlook of 55 as exports of Consumer Goods, Machinery Parts and Automotive show positive growth, although Consumer Fashion is expected to contract in the next three months.

“Chinese companies continue to expect activity to increase over the next year. However, optimism across both the manufacturing and service sectors remained lacklustre in comparison to historical data,” commented Annabel Fiddes, Principal Economist at IHS Markit.

“Softer growth projections than seen in previous years coincide with the recently announced [China] economic growth target of ‘around 6.5 percent’ for 2018, following a stronger-than-expected 6.9 percent increase in GDP over 2017,” she added.

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