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Global Freight Volumes Confirm Stagnation and Indicate Near-Term Decline

The latest global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD, through September 2011, highlight concerns over macroeconomic stagnation:

  • Freight volumes, measured in tonnes of goods moved, indicate a macroeconomic stagnation. External trade by sea in the EU-27 and the USA have stagnated below pre-crisis levels (-4%, -5%); 
  • EU-27 and USA trade by air, considered as a lead indicator, suggests near-term decline. Exports by air in the EU-27 fall back at their pre-crisis (June 2008) levels; 
  • USA and EU-27 exports by sea to Asia (especially China) improved since Jun-11. However, trade by air faltered as exports stagnated and imports declined, contributing to the sense of weakening domestic demand; 
  • Inland freight transport volumes continued to recover, albeit slowly for road freight in Europe.
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