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August 20, 2019

WTO trade indicator suggests further weakening of global trade into third quarter

According to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Goods Trade Barometer the growth of world merchandise trade volumes is likely to remain weak in the third quarter of 2019.

The latest reading of 95.7 from the barometer, formerly the World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), is lower than the previous release and signals that stronger trade growth is not yet in sight.

The loss of momentum in goods trade has already been confirmed in previous quarters where official data are available. The barometer suggests that below-trend expansion in merchandise trade will persist in the coming months.

Last month, the Director-General's mid-year report underlined that trade flows hit by new restrictions continued to be at historically high levels between mid-October 2018 and mid-May 2019. Tensions leading to higher trade barriers and greater uncertainty pose significant downside risks to trade growth forecasts.

The Goods Trade Barometer provides, as the WTOI did, "real time" information on the trajectory of world trade relative to recent trends. It aims to identify turning points and gauge momentum in global trade growth.

The full Goods Trade Barometer is available here.


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