Set 27, 2016

WTO drastically cuts global trade forecast

The World Trade Organization Tuesday downshifted its global trade forecast, warning that anti-globalisation rhetoric and Brexit were pushing trade growth to its slowest pace since the financial crisis.

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The warning comes as talks on a landmark free trade deal between the European Union and United States battle stiff opposition and as Britain's EU exit causes jitters.
The WTO said that global trade was now estimated to expand by just 1.7 percent this year, compared to its April projection of 2.8 percent.

The new figure is also a far cry from a projection a year ago that trade would swell by 3.9 percent this year. Describing it as "wake-up call", the Geneva-based global trade body said growth had fallen to its slowest pace in around seven years when the global financial crisis hit.

"With expected global GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 2.2 percent in 2016, this year would mark the slowest pace of trade and output growth since the financial crisis of 2009," the trade body said in a statement.

Looking ahead, the WTO said several issues, including Brexit's possible impact, had now cast a shadow and it had revised down its 2017 forecast.

MAILOnline
By Afp
Published: 10:19 GMT, 27 September 2016