Weak Trade

Trading Blows

Hamburg Port Source laif 44749455
It could become quiet at Hamburg's port.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s export-focused economy could be hit if growth of global trade slows down.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Global trade is expected to grow by 3.4 percent this year, the same as last year.
    • The trend to outsource and specialize production seems to have come to a halt, economists say.
    • A majority of German firms with foreign operations expect business conditions to improve in the next 12 months.
  • Audio

    Audio

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The new deep-sea port in Wilhelmshaven has a problem. The facility can handle more than 2.5 million containers annually, but in 2014, fewer than 100,000 were unloaded.

The main reason is that there isn’t much happening on the oceans as the growth in freight volume continues to slow.

Wilhelmshaven symbolizes a global phenomenon: International trade is no longer as dynamic as it once was. It seems as if globalization has come to a halt.

Although the amount of products and services sold internationally continues to rise steadily, it’s clear the heady days prior to 2008, when global exports increased at twice the rate of global economic output, are over.

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