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WTO to use new indicator to determine global trade trends

The organization is going to determine trends in global trade in real time with a new World Trade Outlook Indicator

GENEVA, July 8. /TASS/. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is going to determine trends in global trade in "real time" with a new World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), WTO said on Friday.

The WTOI was designed to give an early signal of the current direction of world trade and its near future. In this way, the WTOI should "signal turning points in world merchandise trade volume." It will help existing tools such as the WTO’s longer-term trade forecasts, and other statistical releases.

According to the statement, the WTOI "gives a headline figure to show performance against trend." A reading of 100 would indicate trade growth in line with recent trends, a reading greater than 100 would suggest above trend growth, while a reading below 100 indicates below trend growth. The WTOI will be updated on a quarterly basis.

Currently, the WTOI came in slightly below trend, with a reading of 99. With a downward tendency in the most recent data, signals that trade growth will continue to be "sluggish" in July and August.

"In serving as a quarterly signal of current and short-term trade conditions, the World Trade Outlook Indicator responds to strong interest from policymakers and the business community for more immediate, real time information on trade and trading conditions. The WTOI should provide an early signal if trade is likely to slow or accelerate in the near future. At present it suggests that trade growth will remain weak into the third quarter of 2016," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said.