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Global Freight Figures Suggest Weak Growth Ahead

The latest global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, through June 2011, highlight concerns over economic recovery:

  • Freight volumes indicate a marked macroeconomic slowdown. External trade by sea in the EU-27 and the USA stabilizes below pre-crisis levels (-3% and -4%) while trade by air declines in EU (falling from 15% to 9% above pre-crisis); 
  • The risks of dependence on Asia-led global growth are exposed. Both US and EU-27 exports by sea to Asia have declined since Feb-11, measured in tonnes of goods moved. Trade by air with China declined both for the USA and the EU-27, possibly indicating a slowdown in demand from the world’s engine of recovery. 
  • Further slow growth in inland freight transport volumes continues to contribute to the sense of weak recovery in domestic demand.
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