For the first time since its launch in January 2018, the DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB) indicates a slight contraction of worldwide trade for the next three months.
The index for global trade now stands at 48, a decline of eight points on the previous quarter’s forecast. This, according to DHL, was driven by significant losses for both air and containerised ocean trade.
Commenting on the latest forecast, Tim Scharwath, ceo of DHL Global Forwarding – freight, said: “Amidst rising US-Chinese tensions, the slightly negative outlook for global trade for the third quarter of 2019 does not come as a complete surprise.
“The latest GTB clearly illustrates why trade disputes create no winners. Nevertheless, some major economies such as Germany continue to record positive trade growth. And from a year-to-date perspective, world trade growth has still been positive. Hence, we remain confident in our initial prognosis that 2019 will be a year with overall positive, but slower trade growth.”
The USA saw the heaviest losses amongst all GTB index countries, with its outlook declining by 11 points to 44. The outlook for China, meanwhile, declined by seven points to 49.
Elsewhere, Germany’s index value decreased by one point to 52 points, while India’s outlook stands at 53 points after declining by six points.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty from Brexit, the UK actually gained 2 points, scoring an index value of 52. “Given the still unresolved Brexit uncertainties, this result looks somewhat counterintuitive. It might be an indication that companies are increasingly stockpiling inventories in the face of the risk of a hard Brexit at the end of October,” explained DHL.