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Geopolitical unrest hits global trade

Global merchandise trade likely to decline by 1.2% in value terms: GTRI

Geopolitical unrest hits global trade

New Delhi: The growth in the global merchandise trade is likely to decline by 1.2 per cent, in value terms, due to the ongoing geopolitical uncertainties, economic think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said on Thursday. The US dollar value of world merchandise trade fell five per cent in 2023 to $24.01 trillion, but this decline was mostly offset by a strong increase in commercial services trade, which rose nine per cent to $7.54 trillion, it said.

This allowed world goods and commercial services exports on a balance of payments basis to slip 2 per cent in 2023 to $30.8 trillion.

“Despite the World Trade Organization (WTO) expecting a 2.6 per cent rise in trade volume for 2024, the value of world merchandise trade is still seen to decline by 1.2 per cent in 2024 from 2023, continuing the trend of trade values falling behind the trade volumes,” the think tank said. The WTO has projected that the world merchandise trade volume will grow by 2.6 per cent in 2024 and 3.3 per cent in 2025.

“The WTO forecast does not include impact on trade values, which is a commonly used parameter to measure trade performance. Calculating the trade value is straightforward, as it involves adding up the values of all transactions. However, calculating trade volume is not as simple as just adding up quantities of different goods like iron ore and diamonds, which could lead to inaccurate conclusions,” GTRI founder Ajay Srivastava said.

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