Global trade growth to slow to 1.7 pct in 2023: WTO report

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 06, 2023

This aerial photo shows a cargo ship departing from the Yantai Port in Yantai, east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 9, 2023.(Photo by Tang Ke/Xinhua)

According to the report, global trade growth should rebound to 3.2 percent in 2024, as global GDP growth picks up to 2.6 percent.

GENEVA, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Global trade growth in 2023 will slow to 1.7 percent, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in its annual trade statistics and outlook report, published on Wednesday.

The volume of world merchandise trade has been weighed down by the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, high inflation, tighter monetary policy and financial market uncertainty, the report said.

However, the forecast for trade growth in 2023 is up from the previous estimate of 1.0 percent from last October. China's adjustment of its COVID-19 measures is a "key factor" in this increase, the report said. The reopening of China is expected to boost international trade, the report said.

Dragged down by a sharp slump in the fourth quarter, world trade volume grew by 2.7 percent, "a smaller-than-expected increase".

This photo taken on Jan. 20, 2023 shows One World Trade Center displaying patterns for Chinese Lunar New Year, in New York, the United States. (Photo by Winston Zhou/Xinhua)

According to WTO economists, the global GDP at market exchange rates will grow by 2.4 percent in 2023. Meanwhile, projections for trade and GDP growth in 2023 are below the averages for the past 12 years, of 2.6 percent and 2.7 percent respectively.

"The lingering effects of COVID-19 and the rising geopolitical tensions were the main factors impacting trade and output in 2022, and this is likely to be the case in 2023 as well," said Ralph Ossa, WTO Chief Economist.

Interest rate hikes in advanced economies have also revealed weaknesses in banking systems that could lead to wider financial instability if left unchecked, he said.

"Governments and regulators need to be alert to these and other financial risks in the coming months," he added.

"Trade continues to be a force for resilience in the global economy, but it will remain under pressure from external factors in 2023. This makes it even more important for governments to avoid trade fragmentation and refrain from introducing obstacles to trade," WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

"Investing in multilateral cooperation on trade, as WTO members did at our Twelfth Ministerial Conference last June, would bolster economic growth and people's living standards over the long term," she stressed.

This aerial photo taken on March 13, 2023 shows a container terminal of Taicang Port, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Bo)

According to the report, global trade growth should rebound to 3.2 percent in 2024, as global GDP growth picks up to 2.6 percent.

The estimate is more uncertain than usual due to the presence of substantial downside risks, including geopolitical tensions, food supply shocks, and the possibility of unforeseen fallout from monetary tightening, the report added. ■

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share