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Trade developments in 2016 : policy uncertainty weighs on world trade (English)

2016 is the fifth consecutive year of sluggish trade growth and the year with the weakest trade performance since the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. Current estimates of growth in the volumes of trade in goods and services range from 1.9 percent to 2.5 percent; preliminary high-frequency data suggest that merchandise trade volumes may have grown by slightly above 1 percent. The year 2016 is different from the other post crisis years, in that trade sluggishness is a characteristic of both advanced and emerging economies. Trade developments in 2016 continued to reflect enduring structural determinants, such as the maturing of global value chains (GVCs) and the slower pace of trade liberalization, as well as cyclical factors, notably slow global growth, the trough in commodity prices, and macroeconomic rebalancing in China. The increase in policy uncertainty may account for up to 75 percent of the worsening of the trade slowdown in 2016. In this report, the authors addresses three questions concerning recent trade developments: what is happening?; why?; and does it matter? The report is organized as follows: chapter one presents trade developments in 2016; and chapter two presents trade and productivity slowdowns: the role of global value chains.

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Citation

Constantinescu,Ileana Cristina Mattoo,Aaditya Ruta,Michele

Trade developments in 2016 : policy uncertainty weighs on world trade (English). Global trade watch Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/228941487594148537/Trade-developments-in-2016-policy-uncertainty-weighs-on-world-trade