World Trade Organization (WTO) economists have issued a strong upward revision to their forecast for this year trade expansion following a sharp acceleration in global trade growth in the first half of the year 2017.
Indeed, the world merchandise trade volume is forecast to grow at 3.6% this year, up 1.2 percentage point from a previous estimate at 2.4%. Strong growth has notably come from China and the United States whose demand for mostly Asian imports has increased significantly. Despite such good news on the trade front, there are still substantial risks that could threaten the world economy.
“These risks include the possibility that protectionist rhetoric translates into trade restrictive actions, a worrying rise in global geopolitical tensions and a rising economic toll from natural disasters,” warned WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo.
Overall, economic growth perspectives have improved in many countries such as France where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) just revised real GDP growth now projected to reach 1.6 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2018.