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

Exports Keep Growth Afloat on Bloomberg Trade Tracker


Global goods trade remains a bright spot for a world where more economies are battling an abrupt revival of Covid cases and deaths.

South Korea and Taiwan each just added to a streak of double-digit year-on-year export gains. Korea’s 33% increase in the first 20 days of July is a particularly reassuring sign, given that the bellwether for global trade is seeing a spike in Covid cases that threatens to set back economic recovery.

“The pace of expansion is likely to fade in the months ahead as the year-earlier base becomes less favorable and a resurgence in coronavirus infections overseas derails reopening plans,” Justin Jimenez of Bloomberg Economics said of the Korea data. “Even so, we expect the export sector to remain a key growth driver.”

Most indicators on the Bloomberg Trade Tracker remain above their long-run averages, with almost half in the “above normal” range on the dashboard.

Sentiment gauges from the U.S., China, Germany and Singapore have been more volatile, as purchasing managers deal with global supply chain constraints and shipping backlogs. Virus resurgence, including in Asia’s export powerhouses, could further weigh on those executives’ outlooks.

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*