WTO warns of ‘strong headwinds’ in global trade



James Politi | Financial Times

Economists forecast growth of just 2.6% this year as US-China spat and volatility bite.

The World Trade Organization has warned that global trade will face “strong headwinds” over the next two years as it reported that commercial tensions, a slowdown in the major economies and financial volatility triggered a sharp drop in trade growth last year.
WTO economists said on Tuesday that global trade grew 3 per cent in 2018 — a big downgrade compared with a forecast of 3.9 per cent growth last September. They added that the slowdown would continue this year, with expected growth of 2.6 per cent. 
“With trade tensions running high, no one should be surprised by this outlook. Trade cannot play its full role in driving growth when we see such high levels of uncertainty,” said Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the WTO.
[Read more here.]