WTO slashes global trade forecast by a third

It warns that a backlash against globalisation is building steam...

WTO slashes global trade forecast by a third

PA / Protesters raise an effigy with anti-WTO sign as thousands of anti-globalization activists march Sunday, Dec. 11, 2005

The World Trade Organisation has cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2016 by more than a third.

It now expects expansion of 1.7% - down from a previous estimate of 2.8% from April of this year.

This would be the lowest growth rate since the on-set of the global economic crisis.

The downgrade comes as business activity slows down in 'developing countries' including China and Brazil. US imports have also been lower than expected.

For the first time in 15 years trade is set to grow at a slower pace than economic output - it has been 20% lower. This is only the second time that this has happened since 1982.

"The dramatic slowing of trade growth is serious and should serve as a wake-up call," said WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo.

"We need to make sure that this does not translate into misguided policies that could make the situation much worse - not only from the perspective of trade, but also for job creation and economic growth and development, which are so closely linked to an open trading system."

He added that a stalling of trade activity is particularly worrying as anti-globalisation sentiment grows.

The WTO forecasts that economic activity will slow in the UK following the Brexit vote - but it will not enter a recession.