Capgemini Consulting has announced figures from the first edition of its Global Trade Flow Index which revealed that the level of worldwide trade grew significantly in the latter part of 2009. The index tracks trade by quarter, based on the latest available official data from national agencies of the 23 countries playing the biggest role in the global trade arena.
The figures show that global trade levels grew by 8.5 percent during the third quarter of 2009, with the main driver for this being stabilization in developed markets (which still showed a decrease during the previous quarter) while emerging markets continued to grow. A leading indicator for the development of the world economy, the import and export of goods and services worldwide was significantly affected by the recession but now points to a revival in global economies as levels of global trade continue to rise.
The report indicates several interesting points: Global trade volumes in Q3 2009 were reduced to levels below those of two years earlier. However, as government policies and fiscal stimulus plans have boosted consumption, so too have levels of global trade started to grow.
Also, the biggest increases in trade were seen in the US, where total trade grew by 8.6 percent, against a fall of 2.4 percent the previous quarter, with trade benefitting from the weak dollar. Stabilization in consumption and investment, in combination with recovering exports and declining imports, has also put European economies on the road to recovery, with the biggest growth in global trade seen in Germany (8.6 percent), France (8.5 percent), the UK (7.7 percent) and the Netherlands (7.4 percent).
BRIC economies also witnessed a significant growth of 7.52 percent in trade in Q3 2009, as government liberalization initiatives and infrastructure investments were put in place. China, in particular, witnessed positive trade growth of 6.5 percent on account of aggressive macroeconomic stimulus measures, alongside other tax cuts and consumer subsidies which helped boost domestic demand. In addition to China, India and Russia, which have seen 12.1 percent and 11.5 percent growth in total trade respectively, have seen a significant improvement in their position in the Index since before the recession, driven by effective government stimulus packages.
“Global trade flows have clearly been picking up across the world in late 2009, which is a clear indicator that most world economies are recovering from the economic recession, ” explained Roy Lenders, VP, Supply Chain Management at Capgemini Consulting. “Since global trade developments are typically an early indicator for the growth of the economy as a whole, we would expect to see GDP growth picking up as a result in most countries during Q1 and Q2 of 2010.”