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European trade volumes to plateau at start of next year

European trade volumes to plateau at start of next year

European trade volumes will plateau at the start on next year, before recovering pace, say researchers at JLL.

The consultancy’s generally upbeat projection blames Brexit and uncertainty on the European mainland for the sluggish start to 2017. But it says risks are “largely confined” and that the big upside is the continuing supply chain revolution caused by e-commerce.

Their latest Supply Chain Activity Index said: “While on balance the Index for the upcoming quarters will sustain its upward trend, with European GDP and trade volumes set to grow further, a deterioration of economic  sentiment is factored in; this reflects Brexit uncertainty, albeit it is expected to stay above  its long-term average. Contributions from commodity prices – which are likely to remain stable – will continue to be largely neutral.”

The JLL forecasts that take-up of warehouse floorspace across Europe in the final quarter of 2016 will slightly increase  on to around 46.3m sq ft.  This will mean a total for 2016 of 183m sq ft, in line with 2015.

Moving into 2017, take-up in the first half is projected to fall modestly to around 90m sq ft, compared to 93.6m sq ft in the same period in 2016.

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