Global trade set to reach record level of about $32T in 2022: UN report

Deteriorating economic conditions, rising uncertainties resulted in trade slowdown in 2nd half of 2022, says UN Trade and Development Agency

Global trade is set to reach almost $32 trillion in 2022, but its growth has turned negative during the second half of 2022, the UN Trade and Development Agency (UNCTAD) said on Tuesday.

“Deteriorating economic conditions and rising uncertainties have resulted in a trade slow-down during the second half of 2022,” said the UN agency in its global trade trends report.

UNCTAD, however, said the decline in global trade has been nominal,as the volume of business continued to increase throughout 2022, a sign of resilient global demand.

While the value of international merchandise trade stabilized during the second half of 2022, the trade volume increased during the third quarter of 2022 and is expected to continue growing during the final quarter.

The record levels of trade are mainly due to robust growth in the first half of 2022.

“Conversely, trade growth has been subdued during the second half of the year,” the report said.

“During Q3 2022, trade in goods declined by about one per cent relative to Q2 2022. Trade in services increased by about 1.3 per cent during the same period,” it added.

The UNCTAD nowcast indicates that the value of global trade will decrease in the fourth quarter of this year for goods and services.

“The substantial trade growth during the last year was largely due to increases in the value of the trade of energy products,” said UNCTAD.

While trade in some sectors also increased, such as in apparel, chemicals, and road vehicles, the value of trade in the third quarter of 2022 was lower than in the same period of the preceding year for several sectors, including pharmaceuticals, minerals, communication equipment, and transport equipment.


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