The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis released its monthly report this week on world trade and world industrial production for the month of August. Here are some of the highlights:
1. World trade volume increased in August by 1.4% on a monthly basis and by 5.9% on an annual basis, bringing the global trade index to a new all-time record high of 166.5 (see chart). World trade is now 3.2% above the previous April 2008 peak of 161.3, and 28% above the recessionary low of 103.2 in March of 2009.
2. On an annual basis through August, export growth was especially strong in emerging economies (9.0%) and the U.S. (6.6%), while Asia led the growth in imports at 10%.
3. World industrial output increased by 0.3% in August from the previous month to a new monthly high (see chart), following monthly increases of 0.50% in July, 0.60% in June and 1.0% in May. On an annual basis, world industrial production increased 5.5% above its year-ago level, with especially strong output growth in the emerging economies (8.21%) and Asia (11.1% gain).
4. World output is now 6.4% above its pre-recession level and 21.2% above the recessionary low in March 2009.
Bottom Line: World trade and world output have fully recovered from the global economic contraction of 2008-2009, and are both now well above their early recession peaks. Further, they both reached all-time record highs in August and they have both been growing at healthy rates on both a monthly and annual basis in recent months. At least based on world economic conditions through August, there's nothing to suggest a pending global recession or slowdown.