Last Friday, the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis, as part of its World Trade Monitor, reported that global trade flows – the volume of export and imports of goods – was 4.5% higher in 2017 than in 2016. This is an important finding because it marks the biggest rate of year-in-year expansion since the world began recovering from the global financial crisis, exceeding expectations for the year. According to the CPB World Trade Monitor, global trade flows grew 24% between January 2010 and December 2017.
Experts, however, are cautiously optimistic about the news and what it could mean for 2018. Last year, significant uncertainties about critical aspects of the global economy made it difficult to predict the track of trade growth. The WTO cited unpredictability with respect to government action on monetary, fiscal, and trade policy, and whether trade would be restricted in favor of attempts to address domestic wage stagnation and unemployment.
Continue Reading Global Trade Flows Are Expanding, But Is There a Reason for Optimism?