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Multinational trade data may be a valid measure of the global economy’s health, particularly in light of the present exceptional circumstances, which need continual monitoring for international businesses. Recent trade data from ExportPlanning, which is available on MarketResearch.com and covers the period from Q4 to Q4 2020, might help with this procedure.

Trade data in the consumer goods industry show how the Great Lockdown and the COVID-19 scenario influenced foreign currency rates differently across sub-sectors.

As seen in the graph below, the consumer goods sector is predicted to conclude 2020 with a 4-percentage point loss in global commerce measured at constant prices, the steepest drop in years (Fig. 1). Despite a little uptick (+1.3 percent at constant prices) in Q4-2020, global consumer goods trade has yet to fully recover from the year’s first-half deficit (-8.7 percent YoY in H1-2020).

Global Demand for Consumer Goods

There are significant differences at an industry level across a broad variety of consumer items, with percentage changes in worldwide demand in 2020 ranging from -18 percent YoY for the fashion sector to +111 percent for the pharmaceutical industry.

Fashion Industry: Severely Hit and Still Struggling

The most dramatic picture emerges for the fashion industry, which is consistent with a larger change in consumer preferences linked to the pandemic’s progression, which resulted in the prioritization of needed products above discretionary purchases.

Global fashion commerce declined by more than 18% in 2020 compared to the previous year. While recovering from a 40% drop in Q2 (constant prices, YoY), global commerce in Q4 seems to be still far from pre-crisis levels: global fashion demand declined by more than 7% YoY in Q4-2020.

As seen in the graph below, the majority of the sub-sectors that make up the fashion industry had substantial reductions in global demand between 2010 and 2020. (Fig. 2). Jewelry and watches, as well as bags and luggage, footwear, underwear, and outerwear, were among the worst-affected categories (-30.7 percent YoY).

Global Demand for Packaged Food & Beverage and Consumer Packaged Goods

Household and Healthcare on a Positive Note

Last but not least, consumer goods and healthcare products should be taken into account, particularly as they resisted the general trend. Indeed, the two clusters said farewell to 2020 on a strong note: in Q4-2020, global demand in the two industries climbed by 4% and 11% YoY, respectively, at constant prices.

While the pharmaceutical business has profited from the ongoing pandemic, with double-digit YoY growth rates in each of the year’s four quarters, sales of domestic items have recovered in H2-2020 following a decrease in H1. This rebound, however, will not be enough to lift 2020 into the black: global home goods sales are predicted to have dropped by 2.6 percent from the previous year; on the other hand, global pharmaceutical demand is expected to have risen by more than 10% YoY. As a consequence, in terms of consumer products trade, the healthcare sector is the strongest performer.

Looking at the graph below, we can see that worldwide commerce in pharmaceuticals and medicaments reached a new high in Q4-2020 ($170 billion), for a total of $670 billion year 2020.

 World Trade of Drugs and Medications (USD)

Are you in need of more international commerce data? On MarketResearch.com, you can find a variety of ExportPlanning research to help you navigate international markets and their most recent developments. Listed below are a few examples:




Perfumes and cosmetics

Home goods:

Sofas and armchairs

Espresso coffee machines


Packaged Food & Beverage:


Orange juice

Sparkling wine

About ExportPlanning

For a given strategic business unit, ExportPlanning market research studies offer a wide overview of market trends (past, present, and projected) for all key markets, as well as the position of the major rival nations (product, sector, or industry). As a result, they are a very useful source of information for organizations that want to perform complete market research before entering a foreign market or just want to keep up with the current trade trends in their sector. The reports make considerable use of data visualization to assist the viewer in swiftly grasping ideas and concepts.