WTO Says Rapid Government Response Cushioned Trade Downturn



Bryce Baschuk | Bloomberg

The World Trade Organization tempered its pessimism about the outlook for cross-border commerce, saying its worst-case scenario for this year will likely be avoided but warning governments against becoming complacent to lingering economic risks.

The Geneva-based organization estimated that global trade in merchandise dropped 3% in the first quarter and fell 18.5% in the second, according to a revised trade projection published Tuesday on the WTO’s website.

The WTO’s previous outlook, released in early April, gave a wide range for the decline in goods trade this year — with an optimistic scenario of a 13% contraction and a pessimistic scenario of a 32% drop that would mirror the collapse during the Great Depression.

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