Global trade contracted for the first time since the financial crisis in 2019

  • Volumes in global trade contracted in 2019, according to the CPB World Trade Monitor.
  • It’s the first time since the financial crisis that has been the case.
  • There had been hope that 2020 could be different from 2019, Bloomberg reported, but coronavirus might dash that optimism.
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Global trade hit a dubious benchmark in 2019.

For the first time since the financial crisis, yearly trade volumes fell. Data from the CPB World Trade Monitor, which aggregates worldwide trade data, show that world trade volumes fell 0.4% in 2019. Bloomberg previously reported the decline.

The outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus may not make things much better, Bloomberg reported, adding that though business activity and manufacturing data have shown signs of progress, the economic fallout of coronavirus erased that positive momentum.

Before the outbreak, there was hope 2020 would look quite different from 2019. The trade war and weakness in German industry had dragged on trade numbers in 2019, Bloomberg reported, after a year of growth in 2018, when trade volumes bumped up 3%.

The CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis is a Netherlands research outfit that analyses economic policies’ impact on growth, and publishes the World Trade Monitor.

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