The Container Throughput Index of the Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL) decreased in July on a seasonally adjusted base from 113.6 (revised) to 112.4. This is the second decline in a row. The downward trend gained momentum, but the indicator has not yet passed the level which had been observed at the beginning of this year. This indicates that the international trade with manufactured goods has hitherto not fallen very markedly.
The flash forecast for July is associated with a higher degree of uncertainty than the forecasts published in the months before. It is based on data from 29 ports this time representing only 47% of the volume included in the Index. In particular, some of the Chinese ports accounting for a high share in global container throughput have not provided their data yet this time.
The Index is based on data for 72 international ports covering more than 60% of world container handling. These 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 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."