Global merchandise trade growth momentum may be short lived: WTO

by Nidhi Bhati

World merchandise trade volume growth remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2020 after trade rebounded in the third quarter from a deep Covid-19 induced slump, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) stated in a report. The WTO’s latest Goods Trade Barometer reading of 103.9 is above both the baseline value of 100 for the index and the previous reading of 100.7 from last November, signalling a marked improvement in merchandise trade since it dropped sharply in the first half of last year. However, the world trade body cautioned that the pace of expansion in the fourth quarter is unlikely to be sustained in the first half of 2021. The outlook for 2021 depends upon the evolution of virus and dissemination of vaccines. As per experts, this may have repercussions on Indian exports.