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September 28, 2017
WTO upgrades world trade growth forecast for this year
Following a sharp acceleration in global trade growth in the first half of the year, economists from the World Trade Organization (WTO) have issued a strong upward revision to their forecast for 2017 trade expansion.
The previous estimate for 2017 was 2.4% and has now been raised to 3.6%. A growth of 3.6% would represent a substantial improvement on the lacklustre 1.3% increase in 2016.
Stronger growth in 2017 was attributed to a resurgence of Asian trade flows as intra-regional shipments picked up and as import demand in North America recovered after stalling in 2016.
"The improved outlook for trade is welcome news, but substantial risks that threaten the world economy remain in place and could easily undermine any trade recovery," WTO Director-General Roberto AzevÍdo said. "These risks include the possibility that protectionist rhetoric translates into trade restrictive actions, a worrying rise in global geopolitical tensions and a rising economic toll from natural disasters."
The new estimate for world trade growth in 2017 is at the high end of the range of estimates provided in WTO economists' most recent trade forecast of 12 April 2017 (1.8% - 3.6%).
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