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International trade statistics: trends in second quarter 2017


International trade statistics: trends in second quarter 2017

International trade statistics: trends in second quarter 2017
Photo credit: Simon Dawson | Bloomberg

Continued, albeit slower, G20 merchandise trade growth in Q2 2017

G20 international merchandise trade, seasonally adjusted and expressed in current US dollars, increased for the fifth consecutive quarter in the second quarter of 2017, though at a slower pace than over the previous three months.

G20 export growth slowed to 1.4% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with 3.4% in the first quarter of 2017 while imports increased by 1.7%, down from last quarter’s 4.2%. G20 merchandise trade remains around 10% lower than recent highs in 2014.

There were, however, significant divergences across regions. Within the euro area, export and import growth picked up to 6.8% and 2.9% respectively in France, to 5.1% and 4.8% in Germany and to 5.3% and 4.5% in Italy. Exports also grew by 3.4% in the United Kingdom (slightly down on the previous quarter’s 3.6%) and picked up strongly in Turkey to 4.4%.

In North America, merchandise trade growth was negligible in the United States and slowed in Mexico and Canada. In South American G20 economies, exports fell significantly in Argentina (‑10.2%) and Brazil (‑5.1%, with imports also falling by ‑6.8%).

Exports also contracted significantly in Australia (‑4.8%), India (‑6.5%) and Indonesia (-3.0%). Export growth slowed in China, Japan and, albeit only slightly, Korea. Import growth in Korea slowed significantly (to 0.7%, compared with 8.2% in the previous quarter) and was negative in China (‑3.3%) and Indonesia (‑4.1%).

Exports contracted by over 20% in Saudi Arabia and by nearly 6% in Russia, partly reflecting a 5% fall in oil prices.

All G20 economies, except Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Canada, saw their currencies appreciate against the US dollar in Q2 2017.


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