Geneva: The latest World Trade Outlook Indicator suggests global merchandise trade growth is likely to be moderate in the fourth quarter of 2017, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has said.

The latest reading of 102.2 is slightly lower than that issued in August, which pointed to a continuing recovery of trade in the second and third quarters, said the WTO in a statement on Monday. Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends, readings greater than 100 suggest above trend growth, while those below 100 indicate the reverse.

Global export orders remain above trend but has turned downward recently, suggesting that trade growth will moderate but remain fairly strong in the coming months, said the WTO. The indices for international air freight and container shipping have lost upward momentum, pointing to decelerating trade growth, while automobile production and sales show signs of having bottomed out, which could indicate strengthening consumer confidence, it added.

The WTO said the outlook indicator is not intended as a short-term forecast, although it does provide an indication of trade growth in the near future. Its main contribution is to identify turning points and gauge momentum in global trade growth. It said the indicator complements trade statistics and forecasts from the WTO and other international organisations.

IANS