WTO: a slowdown in world trade growth in 2023

WTO: a slowdown in world trade growth in 2023


April 6, 2023

World trade growth is expected to slow this year, dampened by the war in Ukraine, inflation, tighter monetary policies, and financial uncertainty, according to WTO projections released on Wednesday. The outlook for the global economy has improved slightly since the World Trade Organization’s most recent trade forecast was released in October, but the pace of trade expansion in 2023 is expected to be “weak”.


WTO economists now forecast merchandise trade volume growth of 1.7% in 2023 — up from the 1.0% estimate made in October, after rising 2.7% in 2023. 2022.

According to the WTO, a key factor in this improvement is the relaxation of controls related to the Covid-19 pandemic in China, which should release the accumulated consumer demand in the country and thus stimulate international trade. “Of course, a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine and a broader reduction in geopolitical tensions would also significantly improve the outlook for the global economy,” WTO chief economist Ralph Ossa said at a press conference.


By contrast, he added, while recent bank failures in the United States and Europe appear to have been largely contained, “rapidly rising interest rates could create further strain on financial markets and affect international trade”.


WTO economists expect real GDP growth of 2.4%. Trade and output growth rates are thus expected to be lower than their respective averages of 2.6% and 2.7% recorded during the 12-year period following the collapse of trade caused by the global financial crisis.


“Trade continues to be a driver of the resilience of the global economy, but it will remain under pressure from external factors in 2023,” said WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in an accompanying statement. the publication of the forecasts, calling once again on governments to avoid a “fragmentation of trade” and not to create “barriers to trade”.




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