Setback in world trade

Sept. 2, 2018

After a good July, World Trade in August disappoints. The sharpest slowdown is expected for emerging markets, which are most exposed to any impact from rising trade tensions

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Largest drop in 2018

The gKNi World Trade Indicator powered by LogIndex — the data company of Kuehne + Nagel Group — stood at 139.7 (+7.5% YoY) at the end of August, -1.3% compared to the previous month. The drop in August is turning out to be the largest monthly contraction reported in 2018. The prospect of escalating 'trade wars' remains on investors' minds as recent survey data from Bank of America has shown: pressures on the institutional set-up behind the current global trade order continues to be viewed as the biggest tail-risk for the world economy.

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Asia and Emerging markets are suffering

While the advanced economies are experiencing a steady trend, Japan and emerging markets have lost considerable momentum. This trend will continue in September according to LogIndex forecasts. Foreign trade will reach negative territory in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan (YoY). In particular, exports are expected to fall strongly in South Korea (-11.8%), Japan (-10.2%), India (-9.8%), Taiwan (-8.0%), and Brazil (-4.8%). Also Chinese exports growth YoY is expected to slow down from +12.2% in July to +7.0% in August. We see this trend continuing throughout September.

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Industrial production at 38m low

This trend is in line with the latest manufacturing output forecasts: In September, the global industrial production will reach the lowest monthly increase since July 2015, according to LogIndex AG. The gKNi World Industrial Production (WIP) provides a real-time assessment of the activity in the manufacturing and mining sector around the globe. The seasonally and inflation-adjusted indicator is expressed in month over month percentage changes.

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gKNi World Industrial Production (WIP) with 6-month and 12-month moving average (Jan 2015 - Aug 2018), month over month percentage changes.