The Dutch CBP tallies world trade volumes. Here’s the total world trade series, compared to total industrial production (production weighted), since 2000.
Figure 1: World trade (blue), and world industrial production ex-construction (tan), both 2010=100, s.a., on log scale. NBER defined US peak-to-trough recession dates shaded gray. Orange dashed line at announcement Section 201, 301 actions. Source: CBP, August 25, 2023.
Here’s a detail of how trade has evolved over the past two and a half years.
Figure 2: World trade (blue), and world industrial production ex-construction (tan), both 2010=100, s.a., on log scale. Source: CBP, August 25, 2023.
Whether the slowdown in trade should be thought of as cyclical, or part of the one-off boom in goods consumption post-covid, is an open questions.
Note that these figures are in volume terms, while many figures are in nominal terms. These data through June were released two weeks ago, while we’re currently in September. In principle, we can nowcast September data using other indicators like PMI’s, port traffic, container throughput, and individual country data, etc., as discsussed in Chinn, Meunier, and Stumpner (2023) [blogpost, SUERF nehwsletter].