OREANDA-NEWSThe World Trade Organization lowered its forecast for international trade growth in 2019. According to the statement, world trade fell by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is likely to grow by 2.6% this year, which is lower than the growth rate of 3% in 2018 and lower than the previous forecast of 3. 7%.

Growth slowed as early as 2018: although the WTO predicted that global trade would increase by 3.9%, in fact it grew by only 3%. The main reason for slower growth compared with the forecast is the deterioration of the situation in the fourth quarter, when global trade fell by 0.3%. Just at the end of the third quarter, the United States announced the introduction of new duties against China.

Trade can not stimulate economic growth in conditions of high uncertainty, which is observed now, said the head of the WTO, Roberto Azevedo. The organization identifies several reasons for slower growth in 2018, including: increased import duties in the United States and China, instability in financial markets and the transformation of the Chinese economy, which is accompanied by a shift from growth through production and investment to growth through consumption and the service sector. The leading indicators of the WTO have already shown a slowdown in trade in 2019: air cargo in January decreased by 3%, the rate of global export orders fell.

The trade wars between the United States and China, accompanied by increased import tariffs and increased protectionism, escalated in 2018. US President Donald Trump at the end of February 2019 announced a summit with PRC Chairman Xi Jinping, where Washington and Beijing should conclude a trade deal.