WTO TRADE BAROMETERS
The Services Trade Barometer is outpacing the Goods Trade Barometer, which points to a possible shift in consumption patterns away from goods and back toward services as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
Among the Services Trade Barometer's component indices, the passenger air transport index (117.1) registered the strongest gain, contributing to the above-trend reading in the global index. Strong showings in the services Purchasing Managers' Index (105.1) and information and communication technology services (104.2) also helped lift the services barometer reading. While it remains above trend, the financial services index (101.7) appears to have lost momentum recently, possibly due to sanctions on the Russian Federation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. Other indices including container shipping (101.5) and construction (101.1) remain slightly above trend.
Recent developments in services trade are illustrated by the Services Trade Activity Index, which provides an approximate measure of the real volume of world services trade accounting for changes in prices and exchange rates. The index has shown slow but steady growth since services trade bottomed out in the second quarter of 2020 in the early stages of the global pandemic. The index continued to move towards recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a 15.6% year-on-year increase, although it remained 8.9% below its pre-pandemic peak in the second quarter of 2019.
The Services Trade Barometer highlights turning points and changing patterns in world services trade. Unlike its counterpart for goods, the fluctuations registered by the services indicator coincide with movements in actual trade flows, rather than anticipating them. Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends. Readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth while those below 100 indicate the opposite.
The full Services Trade Barometer is available here.
Further details on the methodology are contained in the technical note here.