Growth Remains Weak: WTO Sees Global Trade Slowing This Year

Global trade will grow less quickly this year than in 2022, the World Trade Organization (WTO) expects. The slowdown is related to inhibiting factors such as the war in Ukraine, inflation, tighter monetary policy from central banks and financial uncertainty.

The WTO is slightly more optimistic than in its previous forecast in October, but world trade growth will remain “weak”, she said on Wednesday. In concrete terms, the organization expects growth of 1.7 percent this year, compared to +1 percent in October. The improvement is partly due to the relaxation of corona restrictions in China.

But the new forecast also means a delay compared to 2022, when world trade increased by 2.7 percent. That was significantly less than the expected 3.5 percent. “A stronger-than-expected slowdown in the fourth quarter dragged down the annual figure,” the WTO said. In the fourth quarter, high commodity prices and rising interest rates weighed on trade growth, as did corona outbreaks that disrupted production and trade in China.

In 2024, world trade growth is expected to pick up to 3.2 percent, the World Trade Organization expects.

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