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Members of D.A. Davidson & Co.

Snapshot: A Boatload of Good News for Global Trade

"The world’s manufacturers have been ramping up production in recent months—and the pace at which they’re shipping goods out to other nations also is quickening. That’s a significant and positive development for the global economy.  Consistent cross-country data show that the pattern of sluggish world-trade volume relative to world industrial-production growth, evident after the financial crisis of 2008–09, may finally have shifted in a positive direction.  ...Emerging markets, especially those in Asia, are leading the acceleration in world trade volume. Interestingly enough, the strongest surge in emerging-market trade volume has been on the import side.  The sharp improvement in recent weeks in the Baltic Dry Index, a widely followed global shipping indicator, is a sign that the trade improvement is holding up into the fourth quarter. Moreover, despite a significant idle fleet, ship leasing rates also are rising again.  It is likely that the growth in trade is yet another reflection of rising equipment spending by businesses, since capital goods are a significant portion of global trade. A stronger recovery in capital spending would be a signal that another important structural drag on economic growth has weakened, and that global growth is accelerating sustainably. This has many positive implications for markets, among them the potential for faster growth in productivity—and the mitigation of increasing inflationary pressure."


(A Boatload of Good News for Global Trade dated 10/30/2017, by Giulio Martini, Partner & Director of Strategic Asset Allocation for Lord, Abbett & Co LLC)