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WTO Trade Barometer indicates Continued Services Trade Recovery Despite Ukraine Conflict

WTO Trade Barometer indicates Continued Services Trade Recovery Despite Ukraine Conflict

Oluchi Chibuzor

World services trade continued to grow into the second quarter of 2022, indicating resilience to the conflict in Ukraine according to the World Trade Organisation Services Trade Barometer.

According to a WTO statement, the latest reading of 105.5 is firmly above the previous reading of 102.5 in September 2021 and comfortably over the baseline value of 100 for the index, signalling that services trade is likely to post sustained gains in the second quarter once official statistics for the period are available.

It stated that the Services Trade Barometer is outpacing the Goods Trade Barometer, which points to a possible shift in consumption patterns away from goods and back toward services as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

It also stated that among the Services Trade Barometer’s component indices, the passenger air transport index (117.1) registered the strongest gain, contributing to the above-trend reading in the global index.

From the report, strong showings in the services Purchasing Managers’ Index (105.1) and information and communication technology services (104.2) also helped lift the services barometer reading. 

While it remains above trend, the financial services index (101.7) appears to have lost momentum recently, possibly due to sanctions on the Russian Federation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. Other indices including container shipping (101.5) and construction (101.1) remain slightly above trend.

The statement adds: “Recent developments in services trade are illustrated by the Services Trade Activity Index, which provides an approximate measure of the real volume of world services trade accounting for changes in prices and exchange rates.”

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