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Financial News: WTO Warns Of Downside Risks From Second Wave

WTO Warns Of Downside Risks From Second Wave Of Coronavirus Infections

10/06/2020 - 12:49:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Global trade volume is likely to fall less than earlier estimated this year, and the expected rebound next year will not return it to pre-crisis levels, the World Trade Organization said Tuesday, as it warned of downside risks from a resurgence of coronavirus infections over the coming months. The volume of world merchandise trade is set to decline 9.2 percent this year, which is much less than the 12.9 percent slump predicted in an optimistic scenario in April. The strong trade performance in June and July, mainly driven by solid trade in Covid-19 related products as governments stocked up on supplies, suggest optimism for overall trade growth in 2020.

Next year, merchandise trade volume is expected to grow 7.2 percent, but remain well below the pre-crisis level. The latest forecast is more pessimistic than the robust 21.3 percent rebound predicted earlier.

The estimates are subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty as they depend on the evolution of the pandemic and government responses to it, the WTO said. Global trade shrunk a record 14.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, but recent data has suggested a partial rebound in the third quarter. "Risks to the forecast are firmly on the downside," the WTO said. "There is some limited upside potential if a vaccine or other medical treatments prove to be effective, but their impact would be less immediate."

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