A year after it posted sharp growth, global trade in goods and services is expected to slow down, according to the UN’s estimate.
The value of global trade reached a record level of $28.5 trillion in 2021, a 25 percent increase compared to the previous year and 13 percent higher compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development revealed.
Looking ahead, it forecasts growth will slow during the first quarter of 2022, keeping trade values at levels similar to the last three months of 2021.
Persistent inflation in the US and concerns related to China’s real estate sector are the reasons behind the analysis.
“As these trends are likely to abate, international trade trends are expected to normalize during 2022,” the report said.
While most global trade growth took hold during the first half of 2021, progress continued in the year’s second half.
After a relatively slow third quarter, trade growth picked up again in the fourth quarter, when trade in goods increased by almost $200 billion, achieving a new record of $5.8 trillion, the report showed.
Trade in services rose by $50 billion to reach $1.6 trillion, just above pre-pandemic levels in the same period.