Stagnant Global Freight Volumes Reported in Statistics Briefing

Press Release
Thursday, July 19, 2012

The International Transport Forum (ITF) also highlights concerns over potential European decline in its recent 'Statistics Brief'

The latest global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD through March 2012 highlight concerns over possible decline in the EU-27.

Relevant insights from the 'Statistics Brief' follow:

►External trade by sea, measured in tonnes of goods moved, in the EU- 27 and the USA remain stagnant below pre-crisis levels;

► External trade by air, considered a lead indicator for overall economic performance, suggests near-term decline in the EU-27 as trade languishes below pre-crisis levels;

 ► BRIICS and Asia remain locomotives of global growth although trade with Asia shows signs of levelling off. EU-27 exports to China fall both for air and sea;

► Weak recovery in road and rail freight, especially in the EU-27, reflects continued weak domestic demand.

The overall picture for global freight is one of stagnation with indications for near- term decline in economic performance for the EU-27.

Total trade by sea grew throughout the [world economic] crisis and is now 12% above the pre-crisis level.

Exports by sea to BRIICS from the EU-27 and the USA reached new highs in March 2012 and were 52% and 59% above pre-crisis levels respectively.

However, exports by sea to Asia show signs of slowing down since the beginning of 2012. EU-27 exports to China, specifically, declined markedly.


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