World trade in goods is maintaining a robust recovery, but it still might falter if trade tensions escalate further, the World Trade Organization said in its annual forecast.
Trade in goods will grow 4.4 percent this year after a decade averaging 3.0 percent a year following the financial crisis. Last year it grew 4.7 percent - much higher than the 3.6 percent forecast in September - and a further 4.0 percent rise is expected in 2019, the WTO said.
“However, this important progress could be quickly undermined if governments resort to restrictive trade policies, especially in a tit-for-tat process that could lead to an unmanageable escalation,” WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement. “A cycle of retaliation is the last thing the world economy needs.”
The United States and China have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars` worth of tariffs in recent weeks, leading to worries that Washington and Beijing may engage in an all-out trade war.
The WTO`s 2018 forecast puts world trade growth at the top end of previous expectations, since the organization said last September that it expected 2018 growth of 1.4 to 4.4 percent, most likely around 3.2 percent.
The latest forecast raises that to 3.1 to 5.5 percent based on current GDP forecasts, but “a continued escalation of trade restrictive policies could lead to a significantly lower figure,” the WTO said.
“These forecasts do not, and I repeat, they do not factor in the possibility of a dramatic escalation of trade restrictions,” Azevedo told a news con...
The world economy can be evaluated in various ways, depending on the model used, and this valuation can then be represented in various ways (for example, in 2006 US dollars). It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth, and is therefore somewhat of a misnomer, since, while definitions and representations of the "world economy" vary widely, they must at a minimum exclude any consideration of resources or value based outside of the Earth.
For example, while attempts could be made to calculate the value of currently unexploited mining opportunities in unclaimed territory in Antarctica, the same opportunities on Mars would not be considered a part of the world economy - even if currently exploited in some way - and could be considered of latent value only in the same way as uncreated intellectual property, such as a previously unconceived invention. Beyond the minimum standard of concerning value in production, use, and exchange on the planet Earth, definitions, representations, models, and valuations of the world economy vary widely.
It is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to Human economic activity, and the world economy is typically judged in monetary terms, even in cases in which there is no efficient market to help valuate certain goods or services, or in cases in which a lack of independent research or government cooperation makes establishing figures difficult. Typical examples are illegal drugs and prostitution, which by any standard are a part of the world economy, but for which there is by definition no legal market of any kind.
for March 2018
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