U.S. order slump contrasts with improving outlook for world trade
World trade data from Tradeshift’s Q4 Index of Global Trade Health shows improving activity levels across global supply chains. Transaction volume growth on Tradeshift’s global business commerce platform finished the year three points below the baseline, a modest upward trend compared to the previous quarter.
Tradeshift’s analysis of purchase order and invoice patterns across its digital network shows that both the Eurozone and the UK followed the worldwide pattern in transaction activity. In the U.S., however, total transaction volumes dropped to six points below the expected range in Q4, the steepest drop in quarterly activity in more than a year.
Additional key findings from the Q4 Index include:
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- U.S. order volumes dropped to 9 points below the expected range, the steepest drop in buying activity since lockdown.
- In China, transaction volumes were 4 points below the baseline in Q4 as surging Covid infections brought fresh disruption
- Activity across the transport and logistics sector fell for the third consecutive quarter. Transaction volumes across the sector were 11 points below the baseline in Q4.
- Manufacturing transaction volumes improved slightly compared to the previous quarter but remained in contraction territory at 5 points below the baseline.
- Retail trade activity had a relatively solid Q4. Transaction volumes climbed back into the normal range, just 2 points shy of the baseline following a more challenging Q3.
- Activity in the technology sector beat expectations by 1 point in Q4 after a relatively strong 2022.