The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that, following a slow third quarter, G20 international merchandise trade accelerated in value terms in the fourth quarter of 2021, partly due to high commodity prices, in particular for energy.
G20 exports were up 3.4% and imports were up 5.0%, compared to the previous quarter and measured in seasonally-adjusted current US dollars. This compares to the slower growth (1.5% for exports and 0.9% for imports) recorded in Q3 2021. Energy price increases continued to fuel merchandise trade growth in value terms, while pressure on supply chains, including for semiconductors, appears to have eased towards the end of the year.
Growth in exports and imports of services for the G20 is estimated at around 2.5% and 2.4% in Q4 2021, respectively, compared with the previous quarter and measured in seasonally-adjusted US dollars. The preliminary estimates compare to the rates of 3.8% and 3.5% recorded in Q3 2021 for exports and imports. Services trade continued to expand at a sustained pace in North America and most of East Asia, while growth slowed down in Europe.
In 2021, annual merchandise exports and imports for the G20 expanded by 25.9% and 26.1%, respectively, with values around 16% above their 2019 levels.