On April 7, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released its updated global trade outlook for the remainder of the year. The organization projects trade volume to expand in 2016, but at a sluggish pace of 2.8 percent year-over-year, which is roughly the same rate of growth posted last year.
“Trade is still registering positive growth, albeit at a disappointing rate,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, noting that if the projection holds, 2016 will be the fifth consecutive year that trade growth was below 3 percent. He also cautioned that “creeping protectionism” – in the form of government restrictions – continues to create trade barriers and hinder global trade growth.
The WTO projects an improved growth rate of 3.6 percent in 2017 – although this is still well below the average rate (5 percent) achieved since 1990. More details are available in this WTO news release.