The Tradeshift Index of
Global Trade Health Q1 2024

Q1 2024 report

Can we now – albeit with caution – look forward to a brighter 2024?

After the end of Q4 in 2023 indicated a positive upswing for global trade, does the continuation of this trend in Q1 2024 confirm a positive trajectory for this year? Global trade activity reaching the highest level in five quarters, with especially strong growth in China and the US, could hint at a potential answer… 

Recovery is beginning to blossom still in the face of volatility

Q4 2023’s positive trend continued into the new year, with global trade activity landing 3 points below the expected range, and order surges tracking 1 point above the expected range. Momentum is building, especially when looking through the lens of China and the US’s growth – and even the Eurozone’s improvements, through the many obstacles of market conditions and weakened demand.

However, making solid predictions about recovery is still out of reach. Tradeshift’s CEO, James Stirk, reminds us of the crucial reality: “Every recovery is fragile and external factors like the ongoing Red Sea crisis, disrupting supply chains, pose a threat.”

Not only could this reignite inflation, threatening recovery, but even the actuality of fresh demand and growth could prove a challenge to businesses with low liquidity reeling from 2023.

Perspectives on the road ahead

Trade finds a way

Technology is helping businesses chart a path through a complex macroeconomic environment.

War in Ukraine, snarled supply chains, geopolitical tension, and a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The macroeconomic landscape has changed very little over the past two years. But businesses are learning to adapt and even thrive in this era of volatility and technology is helping them get there. 

While the backdrop remains fraught with uncertainty and complexity, the metamorphosis underway in global supply chains is unmistakable. Technologies like generative AI promise to take this to another level entirely. Adaptation, resilience, and digitalization are not just buzzwords but imperatives for survival and sustainable growth.

Purpose and Methodology behind the Tradeshift Index of Global Trade Health

Understanding the Index

Tradeshift’s Index of Global Trade Health analyzes anonymized B2B transaction volumes on its platform, offering timely perspectives on how external events are impacting global commerce.

By acknowledging the complexity of global supply chains, the report serves as a valuable snapshot, complemented by third-party data and expert insights.

The methodology

The Index compares B2B transaction volumes against a baseline – one which is created by analyzing medium-term seasonal trends in the transaction data that flows across our platform – providing insights into sectoral and geographical volatility.

While small revisions may occur to enhance accuracy, the Index aims to offer an extensive understanding of global trade dynamics.

About Tradeshift: Redefining business commerce

Tradeshift is a leading business commerce platform, revolutionizing how buyers and suppliers connect, transact, and grow.

With expertise in e-invoicing, AP automation, and innovative B2B marketplaces, Tradeshift fosters economic opportunities worldwide.

The platform hosts a rapidly growing community of buyers and sellers in over 190 countries.

Past Reports

Q4 2023

Global trade outlook remains predictably unpredictable

Q3 2023

Global trade had shown small signs of an uptick in Q2. There were whispers of green shoots pushing through the cracks, hinting at a possible rebound after an extended period of declining demand.

Q2 2023

Global trade has faced significant challenges in adapting to the realities of an economy scarred by a vicious circle of rampant inflation, rising instability, and unpredictable consumer spending patterns.

Q1 2023

Suppliers are feeling the impact of falling order volumes as buyers attempt to realign inventory volumes with changes in consumer spending.

Q4 2022

Rising costs and a slowdown in demand kicks off a new game and new rules for global trade. Global supply chain activity continued to fall against expectations in Q4, ending the year 3 points below the baseline.

Q3 2022

Can US supply chains remain immune to trouble from abroad?

Q2 2022

Inflation is more than a passing phase

Q1 2022

A new chapter in the age of uncertainty.

Q4 2021

Global trade passes the latest resilience test… for now at least.

Q3 2021

Recovery stalls on supply chain issues. Temporary pain or a bellwether of more disruptions to come?

Q2 2021

New normal? Supply chains adapted, but companies have yet to decide whether the economics of resiliency stack up.

Other Links

Q1 2021

Trade chasm: Has the Pandemic brought buyers and sellers closer together or pushed them further apart?

Other Links