RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index: World trade continues to grow
We already indicated last month that a major revision of the December value is possible because the flash forecast was based on a particularly small sample of ports. The amplitude of the revision was mostly due to some unexpectedly low values in some Chinese ports.
In January, the Chinese ports are reporting significant increases. At this time of the year, the Chinese data is to be interpreted carefully due to the Chinese New Year holidays. This also holds for the February values. Nevertheless, the January flash forecast is presumably quite robust as it is based on no less than 41 ports representing almost 70 per cent of the container handling covered by the Index.
With its first publication in 2014 - just as in early 2013 - the sample of ports was updated. The port of Colombo (Sri Lanka) dropped out of the sample as it stopped reporting monthly data. On the other hand, there are three new entries: the port of Casablanca (Morocco) and the ports of Ambarli and Mersin (Turkey). This adjustment induced some minor revisions back to 2007 without impacting on the underlying development.
The Index is based on data of 75 world container ports covering approximately 60% of worldwide container handling. The ports are continuously monitored by the ISL as part of their market analysis. Because large parts of international merchandise trade are transported by ship, the development of port handling is a good indicator for world trade. As many ports release information about their activities only two weeks after the end of the respective month, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index is a reliable early indicator for the development of international merchandise trade and hence for the activity of the global economy.
The RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index for February 2014 will be published on March 24th.
Institut für Seeverkehrswirtschaft und Logistik (ISL)
The ISL - Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics was founded in Bremen in 1954 and is one of Europe's leading institutes in the area of maritime research, consulting and knowledge transfer today. Our employees in Bremen and Bremerhaven handle projects from all over the world in the fields of logistics systems, maritime economics and transport as well as information logistics and turn innovative ideas into solutions with practical applicability.
The Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) was founded in 1926 and sees itself as a modern center for scientific research and evidence-based policy advice. The guiding principle is to analyze the "individual prosperity and economic policy options in the demographic and social change."