The Hindu Business Line

WTO sees trade tensions hitting volumes in 2019

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Growth in global trade volumes is likely to slow down to 2.6 per cent in 2019 compared to 3 per cent in 2018, due to rising trade tensions between major economic powers and increased economic uncertaint­y, according to WTO estimates.

The trade growth could then rebound to 3 per cent in 2020, but only if there is an easing of trade tensions, said a WTO report released on Tuesday.

World GDP growth is expected to decline from 2.9 per cent in 2018 to 2.6 per cent in both 2019 and 2020, the report added.

“Trade growth in 2018 was weighed down by several factors, including new tariffs and retaliator­y measures, weaker global economic growth, volatility in financial markets and tighter monetary conditions in developed countries,” the report stated.

With trade tensions running high, no one should be surprised by this outlook, said WTO DirectorGe­neral Roberto Azevedo. “It is increasing­ly urgent that we resolve tensions and focus on charting a positive path forward for global trade which responds to the real challenges in today’s economy,” he said.

India recorded double-digit growth in commercial services trade on both the export side (11 per cent) and the import side (14 per cent).

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