The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) shows a significant leap upwards in May from a (revised) 125.4 points to 127.2 points. The increase more than compensates last month’s decrease and the index reaches a new record high. Favarouble values for ports which had not yet reported a month ago for the April flash estimate, led to a marked upward revision of the April value by 1.1 points. Consequently, the downturn compared with the March value shrunk to 0.7 points. All in all, the latest data indicates that world merchandise trade continues to expand noticeably.

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 82 ports covered in the index account for about six out of ten containers handled worldwide. The flash-estimate for May is based on data reported by 41 ports, accounting for close to 75% of the total index volume.

The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for June 2017 will be released on 20 July 2017.

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