New WTO indicator shows global services trade weakening into 2nd half of 2019

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 17, 2019
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Photo taken on April 12, 2018 shows the World Trade Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. [Photo/Xinhua]

Global trade in commercial services lost momentum through the second quarter of 2019, the World Trade Organization's (WTO) new "Services Trade Barometer" showed on Monday.

The index's reading of 98.4 is below the baseline value of 100, suggesting that services trade continued to face strong headwinds leading into the second half of the year.

Most of the barometer's component indices declined in June, indicating a broad loss of momentum across service sectors, said the WTO.

"Already, world services trade growth had weakened further in the first quarter of 2019 according to a services trade activity index produced by the WTO," said the report.

The first quarter report provided an approximate measure of the volume of world services trade by adjusting nominal services trade values to account for changes in exchange rates and inflation, said the WTO.

"Despite its recent loss of momentum, services trade has generally held up better than goods trade, which is more directly affected by rising trade tensions," said the WTO.

The "Services Trade Barometer" is released twice a year and highlights turning points and changing patterns in world services trade according to the WTO.

Unlike its counterpart for goods, the fluctuations registered by the services indicator coincide with movements in actual trade flows, rather than anticipating them.

Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends. Readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth, while those below 100 show the opposite.

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