WTO reports strong world trade rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020

According to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) latest Goods Trade Barometer, global merchandise trade volume growth remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2020 after trade rebounded in the third quarter from a deep COVID-19 induced slump

The barometer’s current reading of 103.9 is above both the baseline value of 100 for the index and the previous reading of 100.7 from last November, signalling a marked improvement in merchandise trade since it dropped sharply in the first half of last year.

However, the WTO says the pace of expansion in the fourth quarter is unlikely to be sustained in the first half of 2021 since key leading indicators appear to have already peaked,

Prospects for 2021 and beyond are increasingly uncertain due to the rising incidence of COVID-19 worldwide and the emergence of new variants of the disease. Recovery will depend to a large extent on the effectiveness of vaccination efforts. The WTO expects to release its next trade forecast in mid-April.

The full Goods Trade Barometer is available here.

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