Chart of the week: trade war light on casualties so far

Chart of global trade volumes

“The gloomsters have been saying for some time that global trade was already suffering from the imminent escalation of the US-China trade war,” says Jonathan Allum on The Blah! But the data suggest otherwise.

Global trade volume slipped 1.1% in September, but that followed a record peak the previous month. An index tracking containers moving through ports has been treading water for two months, but has yet to fall.

Meanwhile, Chinese goods exports to all countries grew 15.6% year-on-year in October; those to the US, which comprise a fifth of the total, rose 13.2%, says Gabriel Wildau in the Financial Times. This has – so far, at least – defied “predictions that American tariffs would hit demand for Chinese goods”.


Viewpoint

“What is wrong with Britain’s leading companies? It’s plainly something quite serious, judging by the performance of the FTSE 100… Today the index is barely higher than it was at the turn of the century, 18 years ago. That compares badly… with the German Dax and even the Nikkei in Japan, land of the everlasting bear market. The Nikkei is up 14% over that time frame, the Dax 60% and America’s S&P 500 80%… One obvious explanation is that the UK does not have anything to speak of in the way of a quoted tech sector, which is where the big rise in stock values has taken place in the US and beyond… another problem might be that Britain’s biggest investors, including its legacy pension funds, have, under pressure from regulators and outdated convention, been selling down their equities in favour of bonds… This has been… a one-way street out of UK equities.“

Jeremy Warner, The Sunday Telegraph