The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the ISL - Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics has risen as per current self-assessment up to 138,8 in January from 137,7 in December. Due to changes in the reporting field data are deviating more strongly as usual from the preceeding publication. However, the underlying trend did not change. Furthermore the index is far below the peak of October 2018 but above the average of the fourth quarter. The expected decrease of world trade identifiable due to increasing protectionist tendencies did not yet materialise.
The index is based on data continuously collected from world container ports by ISL as part of its market monitoring. 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. Together, the 83 ports covered in the index account for about six out of ten containers handled worldwide. The flash-estimate for December is based on data reported by 41 ports, accounting for close to 70% of the total index volume. Compared to the previous month’s numbers the index was revised up until August because of late registrations of Japanese ports.
The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for January 2019 will be released on 26 March 2019.