Macroeconomic and Sector Outlook

In July 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) largely confirmed its macroeconomic forecast from the beginning of the year and still anticipates a moderately positive economic trend for 2018 on the whole. The organisation only made a minor correction of 0.2 percentage points to its forecast for the eurozone, where it anticipates a robust growth rate of 2.2 %. Compared with its outlook as of April 2018, the IMF has also lowered its forecast for the development of global trade by 0.3 percentage points to 4.8 %.

Following a readjustment of its forecast models, the market research institute Drewry has upgraded its sector outlook considerably compared with the beginning of the year. Its growth forecast for global container throughput has risen from 4.5 % to 6.5 %. The experts now anticipate throughput growth of 4.6 % in North-West Europe in 2018 (previously: 3.2 %). The outlook for Scandinavia and the Baltic region has doubled from 6.0 % at the beginning of the year to 12.3 %.

This far more optimistic outlook is based on a more positive assessment of global economic growth and a revised data collection model for global and regional container throughput. The outlook does not factor in the potential effects of the punitive tariffs imposed and announced as a consequence of the USA’s trade conflict with Europe and China, which Drewry currently believes will only have a negligible effect on container traffic. It believes that consumer goods have hardly been affected so far or would be imported by alternative trading partners.