The volume of global merchandise trade may turn up soon as supply chain pressures have partially eased, according to data released Monday by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The WTO’s Goods Trade Barometer, a real-time trend gauge for trade, decreased slightly to 98.7 in December 2021 compared to 99.5 last November.
The figure below the baseline value of 100 signaled a loss of momentum in trade at the start of 2022 but shows signs of bottoming out as supply pressures eased, the WTO said.
Relaxing omicron coronavirus variant related restrictions is expected to boost trade in the coming months, though future variants are still risks to economic activity and trade.
It stressed that most sub-indices of the barometer were close to the value of 100, suggesting a growth trend in export orders (99.9), air freight (101.7), electronic components (98.6) and raw materials (101.6).
“While automotive products (92.0) remained below trend, its latest index value marks a turnaround compared to recent months, which may have been helped by the return to the trend of shipments of electronic components, which include semiconductors that have been in short supply,” it noted.
As the problem of port congestion has not been solved yet, the sub-index for container shipping of 97.2 dipped further below trend.
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