Business updates

Trade recovery expected in 2017 and 2018, amid policy uncertainty

Trade recovery expected in 2017 and 2018, amid policy uncertainty

Trade 15 May 2017

The WTO is forecasting that global trade will expand by 2.4% in 2017; however, as deep uncertainty about near-term economic and policy developments raise the forecast risk, this figure is placed within a range of 1.8% to 3.6%. In 2018, the WTO is forecasting trade growth between 2.1% and 4%.


The unpredictable direction of the global economy in the near term  and the lack of clarity about government action on monetary, fiscal and trade policies raises the risk that trade activity will be stifled. A spike in inflation leading to higher interest rates, tighter fiscal policies and the imposition of measures to curtail trade could all undermine higher trade growth over the next two years.


The report puts forward the following main points:


  • World merchandise trade volume is forecast to grow 2.4% in 2017, but due to a high level of uncertainty, this is placed within a range of 1.8-3.6%.


  • The slowdown in emerging market economies contributed much to the sluggish rate of trade growth in 2016, but these countries are expected to return to modest growth in 2017.


  • Export orders and container shipping have been strong in the early months of 2017, but trade recovery could be undermined by policy shocks.


  • Policy uncertainty is the main risk factor, including imposition of trade restrictive measures and monetary tightening.


Read full article here.



(Source: WTO)