Global trade growth has been something we’ve picked really well both going into the global trade recession in 2015/16 and the subsequent recovery and acceleration in 2016/17. It has helped raise conviction on risk management calls around commodities and emerging markets, and getting more aggressive on the growth vs defensive asset allocation (respectively). So it’s worth highlighting this chart of weekly global trade indicators, which after a notably deceleration in the combined signal, there has been a significant improvement in the past few weeks.
With the global manufacturing PMIs softening recently, it’s interesting to see some data which presents a contrastingly bullish picture. Indeed, the seeming chorus of bearishness spurred by the deceleration in global trade may simply be wrong footed as global trade growth stabilizes. In any case, we see no signs of imminent collapse in our key indicators at this point.