Airports from Seattle to Amsterdam are reporting a falloff in cargo traffic to and from Asia, in what transportation executives and analysts say is a worrying sign for the health of global trade.
The data, released in recent days by the various airport authorities, marked the end a monthslong stretch of rapid growth in air-freight volume across the U.S. and Europe. The abrupt reversal demonstrated how rapidly economic problems in China and other emerging markets have reduced the flow of goods around the world.
China’s economy has stumbled this year. In early August, the country’s policy makers unexpectedly devalued the yuan, in hopes of boosting growth by reinvigorating exports. Chinese stock markets plummeted, triggering steep drops in share prices world-wide, amid fears that China’s woes would damp global growth.