Japan is one of two countries to exhibit trade growth

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  • Japan and UK are the only two countries forecasted to see trade growth among countries surveyed by the DHL Global Trade Barometer
  • Ocean trade spurred by imports of Basic Raw Materials and exports of Industrial Raw Materials contribute to positive outlook for Japan’s economy
  • Despite contraction in certain sectors, trade is positively influenced by investments in Tokyo 2020 Games and trade deals with emerging markets

TOKYO, JAPAN – Media OutReach – 3 October 2019 – Robust ocean imports of Basic Raw Materials and exports of Industrial Raw Materials will be the main contributor to positive trade growth in Japan over the next two months, according to data from the DHL Global Trade Barometer released by DHL, the world’s leading logistics company.


The DHL Global Trade Barometer, an early indicator of global trade developments calculated using artificial intelligence and big data analytics, shows that Japan’s trade growth for the period September to November 2019 will increase by three points to 53, a positive sign of the country’s economic health. Along with the UK, it has the highest growth prospects of all seven countries surveyed due to its solid ocean trade data, which more than makes up for a mildly weakening outlook for air trade.


“Japan isn’t completely unscathed by the current uncertainties plaguing the global economy and trade,” said Charles Kaufmann, CEO North Asia South Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding and President/Representative Director, DHL Global Forwarding Japan K.K. “Nevertheless, encouraging figures reveal a solid ocean trade outlook that alludes to the country’s ongoing progress, especially in infrastructure investments related to the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that’s evident from the robust trade of Basic and Industrial Raw Materials. The government is also actively fostering trade relations including the recent trade deal with the US, and engagements such as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development. It’s a sure sign of Japan’s global influence as a mature economy, one with world-class strengths in tried-and-tested industries like automotive, manufacturing, machinery and technology.”


Stagnating world trade outlook

The Barometer’s results also suggest that world trade remains at a crossroads and will further lose momentum over the next two months, albeit at a slower pace compared to the previous quarter. The current decline is triggered solely by a drop in air trade, with global ocean trade outlook remaining stable. All seven nations surveyed reveal indexes below 50 points except for Japan and the UK, where the Barometer forecasts a positive growth momentum for the two economies at 53 points respectively. In the Global Trade Barometer methodology, an index value above 50 indicates positive growth, while values below 50 indicate contraction.


“Worldwide, trade conflicts continue to smoulder and geopolitical tensions are causing uncertainty. Against this backdrop, global trade continues to develop surprisingly well. Although the DHL Global Trade Barometer has further decreased — with an index value of 47 points –world trade is still closer to staying at its high level,” Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight, said. “This strengthens our conviction that globalization will go on and that logistics will remain its key enabler in the future.”


Impact of US-Chinese tensions reflected in their own results

The trade conflict between China and the US continues to simmer, resulting in an overall subdued trade mood, with US and China accounting for the most negative trade outlooks in September. It is expected that US trade will shrink further, remaining in negative territory with 45 points, despite having climbed one point since June. Both air and ocean trade prospects for US remain almost unchanged compared to the previous update. The DHL Global Trade Barometer forecasts a moderate decline for Chinese trade by four points to 45. The main driver of this development is the weak performance of Chinese air trade which has dropped significantly by eight points to 43 over the past three months.


About the Global Trade Barometer

Launched in January 2018, the DHL Global Trade Barometer is an innovative and unique early indicator for the current state and future development of global trade. It is based on large amounts of logistics data that are evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence.


The indicator is published four times a year and the next release date is scheduled for November 2019. For more information on the DHL Global Trade Barometer, please visit: https://www.dpdhl.com/en/media-relations/specials/global-trade-barometer.html.


You can find the press release for download as well as further information on dpdhl.com/pressreleases

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