April 7, 2016
According to economists from the World Trade Organization (WTO), growth in world trade is expected to remain sluggish in 2016 at 2.8%, unchanged from the 2.8% increase registered in 2015.
The WTO expects imports by developed countries to moderate this year while demand for imported goods in developing Asian economies pick up.
"Trade is still registering positive growth, albeit at a disappointing rate," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said. "This will be the fifth consecutive year of trade growth below 3%."
Based on the forecast for 2016, world trade will have grown at roughly the same rate as world GDP for five years, rather than twice as fast as was previously the case.
The WTO economists indicate that such a long, uninterrupted spell of slow but positive trade growth is unprecedented, but its importance should not be exaggerated.
Global trade growth should rise to 3.6% in 2017.