WTO forecasts 2.6% rebound in global trade in 2024

After a 5% decline in goods trade in 2023, the WTO has predicted a 2.6% rise in 2024, driven by rising real incomes in advanced economies that should boost consumption.


The World Trade Organization (WTO) predicts a rebound in global merchandise trade this year, after a 1.2% decline in 2023. The growth forecast for 2024 has however been reduced to 2.6%, down from the earlier prediction of 3.3%, due to lingering effects of 2023’s challenges. Rising energy prices and inflation had dampened demand for manufactured goods last year.

A recovery is expected in 2024, driven by rising real incomes in advanced economies, boosting consumption. This positive outlook faces downside risks from geopolitical tensions, potential trade protectionism, and emerging supply chain disruptions. Indices for new export orders point to improving conditions for trade at the beginning of 2024.

Global trade fell 5% in 2023 to $ 24.01 trillion in 2023, but commercial services trade rebounded even more strongly by 9% to $ 7.54 trillion. Notably, global exports of digitally delivered services surged to US$ 4.25 trillion in 2023, growing by 9% YoY, and accounting for a share of 13.8% of total exports of goods and services.

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