The Wall Street Journal: WTO says trade flow growth to be slowest since financial crisis

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Bloomberg News

A tugboat guides the Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. Bai Chay Bridge cargo ship into the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

World trade flows are set to increase at the weakest pace since the global financial crisis in 2019 as tariffs rise and the global economy cools, the World Trade Organization said Tuesday.

Releasing new forecasts, the WTO warned that slowing trade could hit investment and jobs, as surveys of purchasing managers from Asia and Europe pointed to continued declines in manufacturing activity linked to falling export orders.

“Job creation may be hampered as firms employ fewer workers to produce goods and services for export,” said Roberto Azevêdo, the WTO’s director general.

The Geneva-based body said it now expects flows of goods across borders to grow by just 1.2% this year, down from 3% in 2018. If the WTO is correct, it would be the lowest annual increase since 2009.

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