WTO cuts global trade growth estimation

WTO cuts global trade growth estimation

GENEVA - Agence France-Presse
WTO cuts global trade growth estimation

World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy. REUTERS photo

Global commerce is set to grow by 3.3 percent this year, the World Trade Organisation said yesterday, as persistent gloom in Europe led it to cut a previous forecast of 4.5 percent.

The announcement marked the second time that the WTO has reined in its figures for 2013, after initially estimating that world trade would expand by 5.6 percent.

“The final trade figures for 2012 are quite sobering,” WTO director-general Pascal Lamy told reporters before adding that 2013 would see “more of the same.” Last year, the WTO said, global commerce expanded by 2.0 percent, well below the growth in 2011 of 5.2 percent.

It is increasingly clear that the world economy is running at “double speed”, with developing countries outperforming richer nations, Lamy emphasised.

The WTO explained in a statement that “improved economic prospects for the United States in 2013 should only partly offset the continued weakness in the European Union, whose economy is expected to remain flat or even contract slightly this year according to consensus estimates.” “China’s growth should continue to outpace other leading economies, cushioning the slowdown, but exports will still be constrained by weak demand in Europe,” it added.