For the first time since its launch in 2018, the Barometer's results predict a slight decline in global trade in the three-month period ending in August 2019, with its overall world trade outlook dropping to just 48 index points.
Commenting on the latest forecast, Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said, "Amidst rising US-Chinese tensions, the slightly negative outlook for global trade for the third quarter of 2019 does not come as a complete surprise. The latest GTB clearly illustrates why trade disputes create no winners. Nevertheless, some major economies such as Germany continue to record positive trade growth. And from a year-to-date perspective, world trade growth has still been positive. Hence, we remain confident in our initial prognosis that 2019 will be a year with overall positive, but slower trade growth."
The continued trade disputes between the US and China have contributed significantly to that decline, with both countries experiencing the largest contraction in their trade outlook (-11 points for the US, -7 points for China) out of all countries surveyed by the Barometer.
Scharwath added, "The GTB is a useful tool for us to anticipate economic developments at an early stage. We are well-prepared to tackle the forecasted developments. Our divisional structure and portfolio as well as our worldwide activities allow us to balance economic effects within the company and remain resilient to changes in global trade dynamics."