WTO warns of slowing growth

World trade is expected to grow significantly weaker this year than previously thought, under pressure from increasing tensions and rates. The World Trade Organization (WTO) announced this.

For 2019, international goods trade is now expected to increase by 2.6 percent, while a plus of 3.7 percent was predicted in September. Trade growth was 3 percent in 2018. The WTO previously predicted a 3.9 percent increase for 2018.

“With the rising trade tensions, this prediction should not be a surprise,” said WTO director Roberto Azevêdo. He refers in particular to the trade feud between China and the United States. Azevêdo states that trade tensions are becoming more urgent.

Forecast is uncertain

Other negative factors for world trade are, according to the WTO, for example, volatility in the financial markets and stricter monetary policy by central banks. A hard brexit is also a clear risk for international trade, says the organization.

The current forecast for the growth of world trade is, according to the WTO, still very uncertain. The figure may be weaker or stronger depending on developments in trade tensions, the WTO emphasized.

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