Executive Briefings

WTO Says Global Trade Growth Won’t Be Quite as Robust as Initially Predicted

The World Trade Organization has slashed its forecast for world trade growth in 2014 to 3.1 percent, citing weaker-than-expected gross domestic product growth and muted import demand in the first half of the year.

In April, the WTO forecast growth of 4.7 percent. But in a news release, it said global trade had stagnated during the first half of the year “as the gradual recovery of import demand in developed countries was offset by declines in developing countries,” particularly in natural resource exporting regions such as South America and Central America.

Growth in world trade and output is expected to be somewhat stronger in the second half of 2014 as governments and central banks provide policy support to boost growth, the WTO said, but “several risk factors on the horizon have the potential to produce worse economic outcomes.”

These include the tensions over Ukraine, which have already resulted in trade sanctions on certain agricultural commodities. The number of affected products could widen if the crisis persists, the WTO warned.

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In April, the WTO forecast growth of 4.7 percent. But in a news release, it said global trade had stagnated during the first half of the year “as the gradual recovery of import demand in developed countries was offset by declines in developing countries,” particularly in natural resource exporting regions such as South America and Central America.

Growth in world trade and output is expected to be somewhat stronger in the second half of 2014 as governments and central banks provide policy support to boost growth, the WTO said, but “several risk factors on the horizon have the potential to produce worse economic outcomes.”

These include the tensions over Ukraine, which have already resulted in trade sanctions on certain agricultural commodities. The number of affected products could widen if the crisis persists, the WTO warned.

Read Full Article