RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index down in April
The Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) sank considerably in April to 114.7 after a (corrected) value of 116.7 in March after seasonal adjustment. This indicates that the volume of international merchandise trade has decreased. However, setbacks of similar size have been registered on several occasions during the past and were often equalized the following month. Therefore, it remains to be seen whether the recent decline actually marks a downward trend of world trade.
The March value was only revised slightly downwards by 0.1 points. The amplitude of the revision was far below average. The current flash forecast for April is based on a sample of 41 ports handling roughly 75% of the traffic represented in the Index.
The Index is based on data of 73 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 May 2013 will be published on June 25th.