WTO Trims Global Trade Growth Outlook

The World Trade Organization downgraded its global trade growth projection for 2016 as uncertainties weigh on global demand.

The 2016 global trade growth forecast was trimmed to 2.8 percent from 3.9 percent. The latest projection matched the 2.8 percent growth estimated for 2015 and 2014.

Nonetheless, global trade growth should rise to 3.6 percent in 2017, WTO economists said.

According to these estimates, world GDP should grow 2.4 percent this year and 2.7 percent next year, with growth slowing slightly in developed countries in 2016 and picking up modestly in developing ones.

Asia is expected to record the fastest export growth of any region this year at 3.4 percent, followed by North America and Europe, each at 3.1 percent. Imports of Asia and Europe should register growth of 3.2 percent each, the WTO said.

Risks to the forecast are tilted to the downside, including further slowing in emerging economies and financial volatility, WTO said.

“Trade is still registering positive growth, albeit at a disappointing rate,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said. “This will be the fifth consecutive year of trade growth below 3 percent.”

by RTT Staff Writer

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