Sun Kwang Newport Container Terminal in Incheon, South Korea. Video: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg 

Factories Already in Depression Mode on Bloomberg Trade Tracker


It’s going to be a long slog for global trade to return anywhere close to where it was before the coronavirus.

Factory managers are offering an early look at how bleak things could get for goods flows in the months to come, with all four sentiment readings lingering more than three standard deviations below the norm in April—even beyond deep-red territory on Bloomberg’s Trade Tracker.

Germany’s business expectations gauge is the most abysmal of the four, sitting more than six standard deviations below its long-term average and outside of the frame on most web browser pages. Singapore has special reason to worry, as a steady uptick in confirmed virus cases, especially in its migrant worker community, could further delay re-opening of most businesses.

The depth of those plunges in the manufacturing outlook means the dashboard likely has the worst ahead of it, with April’s port data, and exports for key economies in April and May, due in coming weeks.

We’ve selected measures across shipping, sentiment and export volumes to watch for signs of stress amid the tensions. For the clearest indication, we measured how far each gauge is from historic norms.

How the indicators compare 👆

Latest data available for shipping, sentiment and export volume indicators, z-scores*