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World trade -- more volatile than usual, but not breaking the growth trend yet [ClearOnMoney]
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World trade -- more volatile than usual, but not breaking the growth trend yet

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Commentary

World trade -- more volatile than usual, but not breaking the growth trend yet

25 Oct 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Today the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis released data through August on the volume of global trade in goods. I watch this because I think it is probably a good real-time indicator of global economic health.

This index declined in each of June, July, and August. That, and a notably higher level of volatility than seen in most of the history, are certainly cause for concern. However there is no clear departure yet from the growth trend shown by the grey line. My best guess is that the volatility is a warning, and a global recession may not be that far off, but we will have to wait and see.

Incidentally, regarding the US economy, conditions (as measured by the Aruoba-Diebold_Scotti index) have bounced back from the slowdown that caused some to call a recession.

(Data and graph courtesy of the Philadelphia Fed.)

However the series of lower highs and lower lows suggests to me that we might be getting close to the economy stalling out.