Business, Freight News

World trade fall ‘could have been worse’ says WTO

[ June 23, 2020   //   ]

World trade fell sharply in the first half of the year, as the COVID-19 pandemic upended the global economy, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) but rapid government responses helped temper the contraction. WTO economists now believe that while trade volumes will register a steep decline in 2020, they are unlikely to reach the worst-case scenario projected in April. Initial estimates for the second quarter, when the virus and associated lockdown measures affected a large share of the global population, indicate a year‑on‑year drop of around 18.5% which, while the steepest fall on record, could have been much worse it says.

But looking ahead to 2021, adverse developments, including a second wave of COVID‑19 outbreaks, weaker than expected economic growth, or widespread recourse to trade restrictions, could see trade expansion fall short of earlier projections.