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Globalization holding up under pressure: DHL index

Bonn, Germany — DHL and NYU Stern School of Business released the 2019 update of the DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), which highlights key developments in international flows of capital, trade, information, and people. The new report shows that shrinking international capital flows caused global connectedness to dip slightly in 2018. However, despite strong headwinds in global geopolitics and trade, the GCI stayed close to its record high of 2017. The world remains more connected than at almost any other point in history, with no signs of a broad reversal of globalization so far.

“International exchange empowers people and businesses around the world to collaborate and seize new opportunities,” comments John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “While current geopolitical tensions could seriously disrupt global connectedness, this 2019 update finds that most international flows have remained surprisingly resilient so far. Ultimately, what we’re seeing today is the evolution of globalization, not its decline. Decision-makers need to be careful to not overreact to strong rhetoric or headlines.”

This update of the DHL Global Connectedness Index was calculated based on more than 3.5 million data points on country-to-country-flows. It provides full coverage from 2001 to 2018, along with partial analysis of the first half of 2019. The report also features a deep dive into the U.S.-China trading relationship, tracing the sharp decline in U.S.-China trade, as well as an examination of recent claims that globalization is giving way to regionalization.

“Our analysis does not confirm a robust regionalization trend. Instead, we see that the average distance across which countries trade has held steady since 2012,” explains Steven A. Altman, Senior Research Scholar at the NYU Stern School of Business and lead author of the DHL Global Connectedness Index. “While fraying relations between major economies could lead to a fracturing along regional lines, such a shift has not yet conclusively taken place.”

Trade and capital flows: lower, but no sign of a collapse


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