by Wolf Richter
But the downturn in the goods-based sectors started in 2018. US exports are now down 37% from that peak, imports down 25%.
World trade in goods plunged by 12% in April from March, after having already dropped 2.4% in March from February. This plunge of the Merchandise World Trade Monitor, released by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, was by far the largest month-to-month drop in the history of the data going back to 2000. Compared to April last year, the index was down 16.2%.
But world trade had already taken a hit starting in late 2018, as tariffs, counter-tariffs, and threats of tariffs jiggled supply chains around. By December 2018, the index was down 1.2% from a year earlier.