G20 merchandise trade sees slow growth in Q3 2016

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Merchandise trade growth among G20 nations has remained sluggish during the third quarter of 2016, according to new data from the OECD.

The trade performance of the G20 group of leading nations has remained resistant to signs of healthy recovery during the third quarter of 2016, according to new analysis.

Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown that growth in G20 total international merchandise trade slowed during Q3, with levels remaining around ten per cent below those seen in the second quarter of 2008, prior to the global economic downturn.

G20 exports fell marginally during the period assessed, down by 0.1 per cent compared to a rise of 1.6 per cent in the previous quarter; imports, meanwhile, were up by 0.6 per cent, which was lower than the 1.9 per cent increase seen in Q2 of this year.

Although exports grew by around four per cent in Canada, Mexico and the US, they fell in most Asian G20 economies, with China experiencing the third consecutive quarterly fall, while India, Indonesia and South Korea were also among the leading Asian nations to suffer an export decline.

Exports fell by one per cent across the European Union as a whole, including in France and Germany, with a particularly pronounced 4.3 per cent drop recorded by the UK - partly reflecting the depreciation of the pound since the country voted to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, import performance was mixed, with countries such as India, Russia and South Africa all increasing the amount of goods they purchased from overseas, while significant contractions were seen in Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey.

The report said: "The sluggishness of G20 exports and imports over the last two years clearly reflects downward trends in crude oil prices, although over the third quarter of 2016, crude oil prices have remained relatively stable, fluctuating at around $45 a barrel."