World Trade March 2018 Nowcast: 142.4 (+14.6% YOY)

April 9, 2018

Global trade increased at the slowest pace in five months during March. Although trade has moderated, the data, so far, does not point to a turning point towards a recessive decline. The gKNi World Trade Indicator (WTI) stood at 142.4 at the end of March. The seasonally adjusted indicator shows for March a month-on-month increase of +0.2%, this equates to +14.6% year-over-year (YoY).

Updated daily and published monthly, the unique World Trade Indicator of LogIndex, the data company of Kuehne + Nagel Group — the world’s leading forwarder in ocean freight — provides reliable Nowcasts on the health of the global economy. Cross-border trade itself is an early indicator of the economic trend around the globe.

The European countries had a strong start in the year. However, especially in March, the dynamic decreased notably: Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Germany even recorded a negative annual rate of change in local currencies. In contrast, China, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States have experienced a high pace of growth recently. Taiwan could recover from the decline in February. Based on the country forecasts for April, world trade should accelerate again, at least in the short-term.

The WTI is part of a family of country and sector specific nowcasts that leverage one of the largest logistics and supply chain data-sets available. LogIndex is part of the Kuehne + Nagel Group — world’s leading seafreight provider, number two air cargo forwarder, number two global contract logistics provider, and European top 3 overland provider.


World Trade Indicator at the end of March 2018 seasonally adjusted (SA): 142.4 points, Jan 2010 = 100 points. — WTO export and import data at the end of January 2017 (NSA): 145.5 (+19.7% YoY); Jan 2010 = 100 points.


Month-over-month changes of gKNi World Trade Indicator (SA) and WTO Exports & Imports (NSA)


World Trade Indicator (gKNi WTI) seasonally adjusted (SA), Jan 2010 = 100 points


Heat map with the latest trends, derived from LogIndex forecasts and official data of exports and imports, in USD, EUR, JPY, GBP, AUD, CAD, AND SEK. [in USD: USA, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Baltic, Balkan, India, China, Indonesia, a.o.]


Kuehne + Nagel‘s Logistics Data Lake consists of proprietary and anomysed shipment data from all modes of transportation. In some areas, and in addition with external data sources, gKNi provides full-scale monitoring, such as for seafreight, with its average capacity of around 22 million containers (TEU) and air traffic with more than 110,000 flight movements per day.


Reference month is January 2018. — * Unadjusted aggregate of countries and economies for which the Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) compiles monthly merchandise trade values (in USD). The totals cover over 90 per cent of world trade. Trade of fuel and commodity exporters in Africa and the Middle East is not included, due to the lack of data.

For more information see World Trade Indicator