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03 July 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 23:34 GMT+2

May 23, 2022

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The WTO reports a slowdown in world trade that could intensify if the conflict in Ukraine and the lockdown in China

Among the component indicators of the Goods Trade Barometer, that of containerized maritime transport is the only one well below the reference value

World trade is growing, but there is a trend the slowdown in trade. This is reported by the latest survey of the Goods Trade Barometer, the forecast index on the trade trend global conceived by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is composed of real-time indicators where the 100 index indicates a growth in line with the medium-term trend, higher values suggest growth above this trend and lower values the opposite. The latter is the case with the last survey barometric presented today by the WTO which gives a reading of 99.0, to announce a slowdown in world trade that the World Trade Organization attributes the conflict in Ukraine and the recent lockdowns in China due to the pandemic of Covid-19.

It is a reading - noted the WTO - that resizes the previous optimism aroused by the one carried out in February that suggested the possible approximation of trade to a turning point, in view of a more sustained growth in the near future. At the end of February, however, the start of the war in Ukraine - noted the WTO - has caused strong increases in food and energy prices that tend to fall real incomes and to reduce economic growth. Scenario that is state worsened by the imposition in China of strict lockdowns for addressing the health crisis and which have further weighed on the trade and production.

The World Trade Organization has specified that the indicator of barometer could have been placed above the value 100 if some of the component indices had not declined in March and last April. The organization has specified that, in fact, the most of the indices that make up the overall index show values close to or higher than the reference value: example those of export orders (101.2), of products automotive (101.5), air transport (99.9), components electronics (103.8) and raw materials (99.5), while only containerised maritime transport, with an index of 99.5, continues to rank well below the indicator of reference.

The WTO has warned that if the Ukrainian crisis and the blockades in China will persist, their impact may be even more evident at the next reading of the barometer. Recalling that in April he had formulated a growth forecast of +3.0% of the volume of world trade in 2022, in decrease compared to the growth of +4.7% expected last October, the WTO has specified that the current reading of the Goods Trade Barometer is consistent with the April projection, although currently the forecasts are less certain and should therefore be taken with the due caution.

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