The Volume Of World Trade In Goods In The Second Quarter Of 2020 May Decrease By 18.5%
Global trade in goods may decline by 18.5% in the second quarter of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report published on Tuesday in Geneva by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"The volume of trade in goods decreased by 3% year-on-year in the first quarter, according to WTO statistics. Initial forecasts for the second quarter, when the virus and accompanying measures of self-isolation affected a significant part of the population, indicate a drop of 18.5% year-on-year," the organization notes.
Experts regard this decline as "historically large." However, they said the situation could have been "much worse." The WTO recalled that the forecast for 2020, published in April, considered two scenarios for the development of events in connection with the pandemic. Relatively optimistic scenario assumes a reduction in the volume of trade in goods by the end of this year by 13%, and pessimistic - by 32%. For the first option to be implemented, trade must now grow quarterly for the rest of the year by 2.5%, the report notes.
However, experts believe that the prospects for 2021 look uncertain, since the decline in the trade may be triggered by a possible second wave of coronavirus, weaker-than-expected economic growth and trade restrictions on the part of States.
"The drop in the trade that we are now seeing is historically large, in fact, it may become the sharpest known so far," said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, commenting on the publication of the report. However, the positive news is that things could have been much worse." To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on production and trade, he recalled, the political decisions that are being taken now are of great importance. "In order for production and trade to recover quickly in 2021, fiscal, monetary, and trade policies will have to move in the same direction," the head of the WTO concluded.