The positive outlook for world trade keeps improving, according to the DHL global trade barometer (GTB), which ticked up to 66 points in March from 64 points in January. With the index clearly above 50, the GTB “continues to signal solid positive growth for global trade within the next three months,” DHL noted, with increased trading activity for each of the seven countries tracked (the U.S., U.K., Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, and China).
Compared to the findings in January, the GTB’s improvement is mainly driven by an increasingly positive outlook for Korean and U.S. trade, DHL said, while by contrast, the prospects for German trade eased after the strong peak seen in 2017.
India continues to show the highest index value of all seven countries for the overall trade predictions, while the U.K., after a modest decline since January, scores the same level as China at the lower end of the country ranking, the company noted.
Developments in air and ocean trade are slightly contrasting as global air trade outlook drops slightly by a point compared to January, but remains very positive at 70. The outlook for global air trade is pushed downward, as particularly German and South Korean air trade growth is expected to slow down. On the upside, air trade growth in China and the U.S. is expected to accelerate.
Meanwhile, the outlook for global ocean trade improved to 63 points in March from 60 points in January. This growth is also driven by the U.S. and China, together with a strong increase in South Korea, offsetting a slightly reduced growth outlook for U.K. and German ocean trade, DHL said
Launched in January this year, the GTB is based on "large amounts of logistics data" that DHL said are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence. It is published four times a year, the company added, with the next release date set for June 27.