March 7, 2017
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the G20 economies' international merchandise trade grew for the third straight quarter in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The OECD data for the fourth quarter shows export growth picked up strongly to 1.5%, compared with 0.3% in the previous quarter. Imports increased by 0.8%, marginally up on last quarter's 0.7% growth. However, the OECD notes merchandise trade still remains around 10% below its pre-crisis levels.
Propelled by rising commodity prices, exports grew significantly in Indonesia (by 12.9%), Australia (12.4%) and Russia (7.6%). Exports also increased strongly in Argentina (4.1%), India (3.4%), Korea (3.2%) and Mexico (3.1%).
Exports contracted in six G20 economies: Germany (by 1.3%), Japan (0.8%), the United States (0.8%), Italy (0.7%) as well as in Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Imports in the fourth quarter of 2016 grew by over 5% in India, Turkey, Argentina, Indonesia and Korea. Significant falls occurred in Canada (4.5%), Russia (3.6%) and Japan (2.3%) and, to a lesser extent, in France, Germany and the United Kingdom; partly mirroring falls in the value of the euro and sterling. Imports grew in Italy, for the third consecutive quarter, but at a slower pace.
In China, exports picked up moderately, by 0.9%, the first growth since the third quarter of 2015, but robust import growth (3.6%) pushed China's trade surplus down to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2014.