World Bank Predicts 2.3% Growth in Global Trade for 2024

The World Bank has stated that Nigeria is among a list of top 10 countries with high debt risk exposure.
The World Bank has stated that Nigeria is among a list of top 10 countries with high debt risk exposure.

Following a year of sluggish growth in 2023, global trade is anticipated to rebound and grow by 2.3% in 2024, aligning with the projected expansion in global output, according to the latest Global Economic Prospects report from the World Bank.

The report reveals that global trade in goods and services experienced minimal growth in 2023, estimated at 0.2%, marking the slowest expansion outside of global recessions in the past 50 years. The contraction in goods trade, a first in the past two decades outside a global recession, was influenced by declines in key advanced economies and a slowdown in Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs), reflecting the deceleration in global industrial production.

The report notes a return to pre-pandemic average global supply chain pressures, following the fading of pandemic-era disruptions and stagnant goods trade. Services trade, which initially rebounded from the pandemic, saw a slowdown in the second half of 2023.

While goods trade is expected to resume growth, the contribution of services to overall trade growth is projected to decrease, aligning more closely with pre-pandemic trade composition patterns. However, the report indicates that the responsiveness of global trade to global output in the near term may remain lower than pre-pandemic levels due to subdued investment growth, with investment being more trade-intensive compared to other types of expenditures.

The report anticipates a return of global tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, although the recovery may lag in some countries with delayed reopening. The revised global trade growth forecast for 2024 reflects a 0.5 percentage point reduction since June, primarily due to weaker-than-expected growth in China and global investment. Consequently, the projected trade recovery for 2021-24 is identified as the weakest following a global recession in the past half-century.

In the context of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics reported total trade in the third quarter of 2023 at N18,804.29 billion, with exports valued at N10,346.60 billion and total imports at N8,457.68 billion. The World Bank projects a global growth slowdown for the third consecutive year, from 2.6% in the previous year to 2.4% in 2024, notably below the 2010s’ average. Developing economies are expected to grow at 3.9%, over one percentage point below the previous decade’s average, and low-income countries are projected to grow at 5.5%, slightly weaker than earlier expectations.

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