Monday, November 3, 2008

World trade growth slows in August - Dutch CPB

Reuters, 21/10/2008

The trend in world trade growth continued to slow in August, the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis said.

Trade in the 12 months ended August was 5,2 higher than a year earlier, continuing its deceleration from the 9,3% in the 12 months to November 2006, the present cycle's high, CPB said in its latest trade monitor released late on Monday.

CPB provides trade data to the EU Commission for its surveys of the euro area, and also works closely with the World Bank on its trade series.

The latest figures pre-date the full force of the financial crisis in September, but confirm that trade growth has been on a downward trend for nearly two years.

Trade tends to outpace overall economic growth in both directions - it grows faster than the economy as a whole, but if the economy is shrinking the decline in trade is also bigger.

CPB said that on a monthly basis trade was flat in August compared with July, after a 2,5% rise in July.

But it warned the monthly data are volatile. In the three months ended August, trade was 5,0 percent higher than in the three months ended May, when growth compared with the previous three months was only 0,4 percent. But here too the long-term trend is down.

CPB said a 30,3 percent rise in US exports in the three months to August, at an annual rate, was particularly noticeable.