Severe decline in global trade predicted by WTO

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has released a report predicting a severe decline in international commerce this year, forecasting a contraction of between 13% and 32%. The wide range of possibilities reflects the uncertainties about the health crisis, though the impact on trade is likely to exceed the slump caused by the 2008 financial crisis. A decline of 13% in trade in goods is described in the report as a relatively optimistic scenario. It reflects a steep drop in trade followed by a recovery starting in the second half of 2020. The report includes a much more pessimistic case which reflects a steeper initial decline and a more prolonged and incomplete recovery. International trade will be an important and necessary part of the economic recovery after the crisis.

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