The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Wednesday (March 1) that although global merchandise trade growth slowed at the end of 2022 and may remain weak in the first quarter of this year, this slowdown is short-lived.
The WTO noted in a report on Wednesday that any slowdown in trade growth is likely to be short-lived, mainly because container throughput at Chinese ports and new export orders have begun to pick up.
Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics of China on March 1 showed that the manufacturing PMI in February was 52.6%, an increase of 2.5 percentage points from the previous month; in February, the non-manufacturing business activity index was 56.3%, an increase from the previous month. 1.9 percentage points.
There may be improvements in the future
The WTO wrote in a report on Wednesday that the overall goods trade barometer index fell to 92.2 points in March from 96.2 points in November, still significantly lower than the benchmark value of 100 points.
The index is a set of comprehensive data used to measure global trade growth momentum. A value above 100 reflects above-trend trade volume, and a value below 100 reflects below-trend trade volume.
In terms of industries, except for the automobile product index which was 105.8, all the component indexes of this barometer are below the trend, which shows that the trade weakness is widespread and has affected many industries.
For example, the container shipping index is 89.3, the electronic components index is 84.9, and the raw materials index is 92.0, all of which are below the trend and are declining.
However, the export orders index is 97.4. Although it is lower than the trend level, it is rising from the last data, suggesting that there may be an improvement in the near future.
Better than expected
The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict last year caused serious damage to wheat, fuel and other exports. In view of this, the WTO predicted in April last year that global trade growth would be only 3% in 2022.
However, on Thursday, WTO chief economist Ralph Ossa believed in the latest analysis that global trade still “remains good.”
He pointed out in a statement, “We have not seen the worst-case scenario expected when the Russia-Ukraine conflict began.” Global trade data for 2022 will be released in April this year.
Ossa added that global trade is resilient, in part because the world trading system remains open. For example. Countries that have always relied on wheat imports from Ukraine have turned their attention to the United States and Russia, or have changed their staple food to rice. </span