31 May 2022
Canadian Custom Brokerage

As Ukraine conflict and COVID-19 weigh on trade the WTO’s Goods barometer remains flat

According to the latest World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Goods Trade Barometer the conflict in Ukraine and recent pandemic-related lockdowns in China appear to be dampening global goods trade in the first half of 2022.

The current reading of 99.0 remains slightly below the baseline value of 100 for the index, which is a forward-looking composite of real-time indicators, suggesting continued slow growth in merchandise trade.

The WTO says the latest outlook scales back the earlier optimism in the barometer from February, which suggested that trade might have been approaching a turning point, with stronger growth expected the near future.

The anticipated upturn may have been short-circuited by the conflict in Ukraine, which started in late February and triggered sharp rises in food and energy prices, which tend to reduce real incomes and lower economic growth.

China’s imposition of major lockdowns to combat a new outbreak of COVID-19 has further disrupted trade and production.

The full Goods Trade Barometer is available here.

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