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More signs that softer demand is weighing on trade

After a growth spurt late last year, world trade flatlined in Q1. The Ukraine war and lockdowns in China raised concerns that renewed supply bottlenecks would choke up world trade. However, notwithstanding the reported surge in US imports in March, it generally seems to be softer demand more so than restricted supply that is behind the recent weakness in world trade. Accordingly, the latest trade data are more consistent with a picture of slowing global economic growth than of mounting pipeline inflation.

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