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WTO cuts world trade growth forecasts for 2015 and 2016

Published on April 16, 2015

 Global goods trade will grow by 3.3 percent this year and by 4.0 percent in 2016, less than previously forecast, mainly due to sluggish economic growth, the World Trade Organization said on Tuesday.

"We expect trade to continue its slow recovery but with economic growth still fragile and continued geopolitical tensions, this trend could easily be undermined," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said.

The WTO figures are based on economic growth estimates from organisations including the International Monetary Fund, which will update its forecasts later on Tuesday.

WTO chief economist Robert Koopman said he had seen the new IMF figures and they would be "in the same ballpark" and not affect the WTO's forecast.

Although the forecasts do suggest some modest growth in world goods trade, they follow repeated downward revisions of trade forecasts as the economic outlook worsened.

Trade grew by 2.8 percent in 2014, far less than an original forecast of 4.7 percent and also below the revised forecast of 3.1 percent that the WTO predicted last September.

The new expectation of 3.3 percent growth this year - already revised down twice, from 5.3 percent and then 4.0 percent, is a small acceleration but far below the long term trend. Read more. Source | Reuters