Daily Management Review

WTO improves forecast for global trade in 2020


The WTO improved expectations of a decline in global trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year to 9.2%, but now only 7.2% growth is expected in 2021, according to the WTO report released on Tuesday.

In April, the organization expected world trade to decline by 13-32% in 2020, depending on the scenario of the pandemic, and growth in 2021 was estimated at 21.3%.

"The WTO predicts a decline in world trade in goods by 9.2% in 2020, followed by a 7.2% growth in 2021. These estimates are subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty as they depend on the development of the pandemic and the government's response to it," the document says.

World trade is showing signs of recovery from the deep recession caused by COVID-19, but WTO economists warn that any recovery could be disrupted by the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

"Current data suggests a projected decline for the current year that will be less severe than the 12.9 per cent fall envisaged by the more optimistic of the two scenarios outlined in the WTO's April Trade Forecast," the report says.

According to the organization, strong trade performance in June and July has given some signs of optimism about overall trade growth in 2020. "Trade growth in COVID-19-related goods was particularly strong during these months, demonstrating the ability of trade to help governments get the supplies they need," the WTO said.

However, it is noted that the forecast for next year is more pessimistic than the previous estimate of 21.3 per cent growth, with the result that trade in goods in 2021 will be significantly lower than expected before the pandemic.

source: wto.org