As the global economy downshifts, merchandise trade declined in the third quarter, and services trade continued to slow, according to new data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The Paris-based group reported that merchandise trade fell for the first time in two years.
“Exports and imports contracted by 1.3% and 1.1%, respectively, as global demand began to slow and most commodity prices receded from their peaks,” the OECD said.
In Europe, merchandise exports and imports contracted by 1.5% and 0.7% respectively, the report noted.
Meanwhile in North America, trade remained positive, but saw slower growth as falling oil prices weighed on exports.
“It is too early to draw any concrete conclusions, however this latest development in G20 merchandise trade deserves further monitoring as the global economy confronts multiple headwinds, including monetary tightening, receding commodity prices, and cooling demand,” OECD chief statistician Paul Schreyer said in a release.
At the same time, the group reported that services trade continued to slow in the third quarter.
On the services side, the OECD said that export growth dropped to 0.3% from 1.3% in the second quarter, and imports slowed to 1.7% from 2.3%, “as falling shipping costs weighed on the value of transport services across many G20 economies.”
In particular, growth in services trade “slowed markedly” in North America, the group reported.
“Across Europe, the largest services traders recorded falls in exports and rising imports,” it said.