WTO trade barometers

The WTO has developed a set of indicators to provide “real-time” information on trends in world trade. The Goods Trade Barometer, formerly the World Trade Outlook Indicator, is a leading indicator that signals changes in world trade growth two to three months ahead of merchandise trade volume statistics. The Services Trade Barometer is a coincident indicator that illustrates the current state of services trade slightly ahead of official statistics. Both barometers are intended to complement conventional trade statistics and forecasts.

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Goods Trade Barometer

The Goods Trade Barometer combines a variety of trade-related component indices into a single composite index that highlights turning points in world merchandise trade and provides an indication of its likely trajectory in the near future.

The barometer index shows how the latest data compare with short-run trends in goods trade. A reading of 100 indicates trade expansion in line with recent trends. Readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth while readings below 100 indicate below-trend growth. The Goods Trade Barometer is updated on a quarterly basis.

Services Trade Barometer

The WTO launched a new Services Trade Barometer in September 2019 as a companion to the Goods Trade Barometer. Like its counterpart for goods, this barometer highlights turning points and illustrates changing patterns in world services trade. The Services Trade Barometer will be issued twice a year.

The barometer combines six component indices into an overall composite index. Releases will include a measure of previous services trade activity to serve as a point of comparison to the barometer index. The Services Activity Index provides an approximate measure of the volume of world services trade and is calculated by adjusting the value of services trade to account for changes in prices and exchange rates.

Readings of 100 in the services barometer indicate growth in line with medium-term trends; readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth while those below 100 indicate the opposite. The direction of change reflects momentum compared to the previous month.



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