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WTO revises up forecast for goods trade to 9.2% decline in 2020

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization upgraded its forecast for trade in goods this year to a level still comparable to the decline during the global financial crisis, but better than initially predicted due to a rebound in June and July.

The WTO said on Tuesday that global merchandise trade would fall by 9.2% this year and then increase by 7.2% in 2021.

The WTO forecast in April that merchandise trade would decline by between 13 and 32% this year, figures described by the WTO chief as “ugly”, before rebounding by between 21 and 24% in 2021 if countries worked together.

The Geneva-based trade body said that its estimates were subject to a high degree of uncertainty related to the evolution of the pandemic and government responses and noted that next year’s pick-up would leave trade well below its pre-pandemic trend. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Marine Strauss)