World trade to fall by 9.2% in 2020: WTO

Geneva: World merchandise trade is expected to fall by 9.2% in 2020, followed by a 7.2% rise in 2021, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Tuesday in its revised trade forecast.

In April, the WTO had predicted a decline in the volume of world merchandise trade for 2020 between 13% and% as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economic activity and lives around the world.

“World trade shows signs of bouncing back from a deep, COVID-19 induced slump,” explained WTO economists in a press release, adding that “strong trade performance in June and July have brought some signs of optimism for overall trade growth in 2020.”

Nevertheless, the WTO’s updated forecast for the next year is more pessimistic than the previous estimate of 21.3-percent growth, leaving merchandise trade well below its pre-pandemic trend in 2021.

WTO cautioned that “any recovery could be disrupted by the on-going pandemic effects.”

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