Economies in Europe are growing at a slower pace

Nov. 5, 2018

After three consecutive months of growth and several upward revisions, world trade accelerated year-on-year in October but decreased compared to the previous month.


World Trade Indicator at the end of October 2018, seasonally and working-day adjusted (SA), in USD: 141.5 points, Jan 2010 = 100 points. Export and import data from World Trade Organization (WTO) at the end of August 2018, in USD: 147.2 (+8.4% YoY); Jan 2010 = 100 points. The monthly merchandise values according to WTO are not seasonally or working-day adjusted (NSA), exports are valued FOB and imports CIF.

-0.9% Month-over-Month (MoM)

The gKNi World Trade Indicator powered by LogIndex AG — the data company of Kuehne + Nagel — stood at 141.5 at the end of October, -0.9% compared to the previous month. The year-on-year rate rose to 8.1% due to the base effect of weak October 2017. In addition, the previous months were markedly revised upwards, mainly because of stronger than expected imports of China. The monthly decline of the indicator in October followed three consecutive increases.


Month-over-Month changes of World Trade Indicator (WTI)
past 13 months.

Regional trends: Mixed picture

World trade remains strong in North America (+9.5%) and Central and South America (+12.9%). The emerging markets temporarily gained some momentum, while the industrialized countries grew at a slower pace, with Europe being a drag.


Foreign trade in October by region and country group.

Sea freight: Downward trend

The unit volume in ocean freight decreased slightly in October (-0.3% MoM), after an uptick in September (+0.7%). The downward trend was larger in U.S. ports (-0.7%) than in Japan (-0.5%) or China (-0.3%). The sea freight indicator increased +2.8% year-on-year.


This chart shows the Month-over-3-Month changes based on the gKNi Air Freight Indicator covering 75% of air cargo.

Air freight: Same level as 2017

In September and October, the indicator for air freight remained at the previous year's level. As a reflection of the overall economic development in the regions, cargo throughput in the USA is sizably higher than in Europe and Asia.