Global trade has prospects for speedy recovery this year with the expansion of merchandise trade, however the recovery process will be uneven after the COVID-19 pandemic shock, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said last evening.
According to new estimates from the intergovernmental organisation, the volume of world merchandise trade is expected to increase by 8.0 percent in 2021 after having fallen 5.3 percent in 2020, continuing its rebound from the pandemic-induced collapse that bottomed out in the second quarter of last year.
However, the WTO forecasts that trade growth will likely slow to 4.0 percent in 2022, with the total volume of global trade remaining below the pre-pandemic trend.
“The relatively positive short-term outlook for global trade is marred by regional disparities, continued weakness in services trade, and lagging vaccination timetables, particularly in poor countries,” the WTO said in its latest statement.
It added that COVID-19 continues to pose the greatest threat to the outlook for trade, as new waves of infection could easily undermine any hoped-for recovery.
Meanwhile, the WTO pointed out that world GDP at market exchange rates should increase by 5.1 percent in 2021 and 3.8 percent in 2022, after contracting by 3.8 percent in 2020.