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Tue Dec 4, 2018, 05:00 PM

Alarming trade slowdown shows impact of Trump's tariff war

The negative impact of the ongoing trade battle between the US and China is plain to see in new data from Swiss freight giant Kuehne + Nagel.

According to the data, published Tuesday, global trade was up 0.3% in November compared to the previous month. It's a massive shift from November 2017, when world trade grew 3.1% month-over-month.

The picture is a bit nuanced. For example, trade overall is up 6.4% from the same point last year, pushing Kuehne + Nagel's World Trade Indicator to 143.7, the highest level since records began. But it's still clear the US-China trade war is having an impact. Going forward, the data shows a consistent downward trend. The chart below illustrates this trajectory over the past 12 months:

Not only is overall global trade growth slowing, but in many areas, it is actively shrinking.

"In ocean freight, measured by the live throughput of ports, the unit volume declined slightly in November," down 0.3% month over month, Kuehne + Nagel said in the release.

On top of that, every single region of the globe saw its foreign trade growth drop in November.


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