The Container Throughput Index of the RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) experienced a fall in October 2017 when it dropped from 129,7 to 128,3 index points. For the September value of the index which marks the current all-time high no revision was necessary. The decline might be interpreted as a counter-reaction to the extrodinary gain of the index in the previous month. As of today any conclusion of a trend reversal in world trade would be too early.
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 October is based on data reported by 45 ports, accounting for close to 80% of the total index volume.
The RWI/ISL-Container Throughput Index for November 2017 will be released on 19 December 2017.