WTO expects worse decline in world trade this year than during 2008-09 crisis

World trade will fall by more this year than during the downturn brought on by the global financial crisis of 2008-09 as the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are felt.

This is the stark assessment by the World Trade Organization, which said global goods trade could contract by as much as 32% in 2020 under its worse-case scenario of suppression measures staying in place for the whole year and limited recovery in 2021.  The WTO also forecast a less pessimistic scenario under which the pandemic and containment measures last for six months, with world trade falling by around 17%. It also provided an optimistic scenario of three months for containment, under which world trade would fall by 13%. In 2008-09, global trade fell by 12.5%. “These numbers are ugly - there is no getting around that. But a rapid, vigorous rebound is possible. Decisions taken now will determine the future shape of the...


Andrea Hotter

April 08, 2020

18:50 GMT

New York