WTO revises trade forecast as economies bounce back

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The global economy is performing better than the World Trade Organization anticipated.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has changed its projection for global trade growth as economies show signs of bouncing back more strongly from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Its original forecast had been for eight percent in 2021 and four percent in 2022, but this has now been increased to 10.8 percent and 4.7 percent respectively due to an unexpected resurgence of economic activity.

The WTO also said gross domestic product may expand by 5.3 percent this year and 4.1 percent next year, despite a fall of 3.8 percent in 2020. This was attributed to strong monetary and fiscal policy support, as well as an unprecedented rollout of vaccines by developed nations.

However, there were some expressions of caution contained in the report, with the WTO warning that uneven access to vaccines in particular could hamper the progress made so far, as could delays at ports, higher shipping rates and shortages of key trade products.

"Trade has been a critical tool in combating the pandemic, and this strong growth underscores how important trade will be in underpinning the global economic recovery," concluded WTO director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The release of the document comes ahead of the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference, which will be held in Geneva at the end of November after being postponed from 2020.