WTO Expects Global Trade to Remain Weak

November 18, 2019

As trade tensions continue to rise and uncertainty around Brexit persists, the World Trade Organization is predicting that global trade flows for the year will be the weakest since the financial crisis. The WTO cut its global trade forecast last month, projecting that cross-border movement of goods will increase by just 1.2 percent this year. This is down from a 3 percent increase last year.

The WTO’s leading indicator increased to 96.6 in its most recent reading, up from 95.7 in the previous reading. Despite this increase, the index is still well below 100, which indicates that exports and imports are increasing at a slower rate than in previous decades. 

The organization does expect trade volumes to increase somewhat next year, with a forecast of a 2.7 increase in 2020.

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