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Air freight volumes indicate slowing growth in second quarter 2015: OECD

PARIS, Fra.–The latest update of global freight data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD through June 2015 shows that: International trade related air freight volumes in tonnes of goods moved, considered as a lead indicator, fell during the second quarter in the United States while remaining below pre-crisis peak in the EU area.

Exports to BRICS and Asia remain locomotives of growth.

Surface freight volumes, measured in tonne-kilometres of goods transported, show signs of a slowing down in China and Russia. The overall picture for global freight suggests a slowing growth momentum. Air freight, considered a lead indicator for overall economic performance, fell in the second quarter of 2015 in the United Sates after growing above the pre-crisis level between 2014 and 2015 for the first time since 2012.

In the EU-28, air freight volumes remain below the pre-crisis peak, according to preliminary seasonally adjusted data, the report said.

In the first quarter of 2015 total external trade by sea in the EU area, measured in tonnes of good carried, grew above the pre-crisis levels for the first time since June 2008, but the latest data show a decline back to pre-crisis levels. Sea freight remains stagnant in the US (-10%). Exports and imports continue to display diverging trends. Total exports transported by sea reach 34% and 17% above pre-crisis peak in the EU- 28 and the United States respectively, while imports stagnate below pre-crisis levels (EU -7%; USA -24%).

Exports to BRICS and Asia have been the locomotive of European and North American growth since the crisis of 2008. Exports by sea from the EU-28 to BRICS and Asia remain at their above pre-crisis levels (50% and 69% above pre-crisis peak).

USA exports by sea to BRICS continue to show growth in the first two quarters of 2015, reaching 68% above pre-crisis levels. The United States external trade with Mexico by road and rail, measured in value, continues to grow strongly since the recovery started in 2011. EU-28 trade with the neighbouring countries, by contrast, remains stagnant with the exception of trade by road with the Balkan region. Overall, the EU area surface freight volumes remain stagnant, measured in tonnekilometers, reflecting weak domestic demand. The slowdown of total surface freight volumes in China and Russia indicate slowing of growth momentum in these countries, said the OECD.

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