Global Trade Barreled Into 2021 in Recovery From Pandemic Slump

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Global trade entered 2021 with strong momentum after recovering late last year from a slump in the opening months of the pandemic, new data show.

World merchandise trade increased 4% in the fourth quarter after an 11.5% surge the previous three-month period, leaving total volumes down 5.3% in 2020 from a year earlier, according to a report published by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

The annual drop was far shallower than previous predictions from groups such as the World Trade Organization, which forecast a collapse in international commerce of as much as 32%, which would have been on par with losses during the Great Depression.

Emerging economies like China other Asian nations were key drivers for the growth in global trade during 2020, with strong import and export volumes, according to the report.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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