Global trade back to trend

Callum Thomas

The latest hard data on global trade activity show a picture of volumes returning to trend growth. The chart below shows global container throughput activity and you can see a clear dip down in 2015/16: a sort of mini-recession or near-miss global recession as I've explained it previously. In any event it's a sign of health for the global cyclical outlook.

Stronger global trade activity is consistent with the rebound in industrial production growth we've seen and is also reflected in and reinforces the rebound in corporate earnings growth. The improvement in global trade growth is a positive dynamic for the global economy as it helps broaden growth and in particular gives a boost to export-oriented economies.

Overall it's another tick for the global growth and inflation outlook and adds weight to my thesis that the main trend in global monetary policy is for tightening/normalization and that growth assets are likely to outperform defensive/income assets in this regime.


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