World services trade continues to grow in Q2 of 2022

BL New Delhi Bureau | | Updated on: Jun 23, 2022
The strongest gain in the second quarter was registered in the passenger air transport index

The strongest gain in the second quarter was registered in the passenger air transport index | Photo Credit: KAI PFAFFENBACH

Indicates shift in consumption patterns away from goods, back to services with easing of the pandemic

World services trade continued to grow in the second quarter of 2022, despite the Ukraine crisis, fuelled by strong performance of sectors such as passenger air transport, ICT services and services PMI (Purchasing Managers Index), according to the WTO’s Services Trade Barometer released on Thursday.

“The Services Trade Barometer (STB) has risen firmly above trend to 105.5, over the baseline value of 100 for the index and up from the previous reading of 102.5 in September 2021. The upturn suggests that services trade will continue to post gains in the second quarter once official statistics for this period become available,” according to a WTO statement.

With the STB outpacing the Goods Trade Barometer, there may be a shift happening in consumption patterns away from goods and back toward services as the Covid‐19 pandemic eases, it added.

The STB is a composite coincident indicator of world services trade activity, combining six component indices. The services trade activity is an approximate measure of the volume of world services trade calculated by adjusting nominal services trade statistics to account for changes in prices and exchange rates.

Air transport

Among the STB component indices, the strongest gain in the second quarter was registered in the passenger air transport index (117.1), followed by services PMI (105.1) and ICT services (104.2). The financial services index (101.7) remained above trend but seemed to be losing momentum, possibly due to sanctions on the Russian Federation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, the statement said. Other indices including container shipping (101.5) and construction (101.1) remained slightly above trend.

Readings of 100 in the STB indicate growth in line with medium‐term trends while those greater show above trend growth and lower readings indicate below trend performance.

The latest WTO Goods Trade Barometer, released last month, indicated a dampening global goods trade in the first half of 2022 mostly due to the uncertainties unleashed by the Ukraine conflict and the pandemic-related lockdowns in China. The latest reading of 99.0 stayed below the baseline value of 100 for the index.

Published on June 23, 2022
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