WTO’s good trade indicator projects a steady fall amidst COVID-19 outbreak

The goods trade indicator of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has fell to the lowest level ever since its launch, said the WTO in a statement released on May 20.

The goods trade indicator was launched by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in July 2016. The WTO said that it fell to 87.6 from 95.5 in February, adding that readings of less than 100 indicate trade below medium-term trends.

The WTO said that the fell in goods trade indicator indicates that global trade was likely to fall “precipitously” in the first half of 2020 due to disruptions from COVID-19.

The WTO statement read, “The current reading captures the initial phases of the COVID-19 outbreak, and shows no sign of the trade decline bottoming out yet”.

The statement added that the new reading was consistent with the estimate of the WTO last month that predicted that world merchandise trade could decline between 13 and 32 percent this year, depending on the duration of the pandemic and the effectiveness of policy responses.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the trade war between the major economies also added to the fell in the good trade indicator.

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