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How to explain the weird explosion in container volume growth on the Asia-Europe trade? We are told the economy is improving, but it doesn’t quite feel as if it’s true – figures in the UK indicate a robust recovery, but for many the air of recession hangs thick. Equally, Asia-Europe volumes have rebounded with surprising strength this year, especially given the uninspiring GDP figures currently being recorded in Europe. So what, exactly, is the relationship between GDP and container numbers? “As the broadest measure of economic health, GDP is one of the drivers of long-term aggregate growth in trade, but can be a poor guide when making predictions on short-term trade prospects,” Drewry says.

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