Trade tensions to hit goods growth in fourth quarter as tariffs bite: WTO

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a red traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Monday that growth in global goods trade is expected to remain “below trend” in the fourth quarter amid tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors.

Its latest quarterly barometer showed growth in global merchandise trade rose by 0.2 pct in the second quarter of this year against 3.5 pct in same period of 2018.

“Some components of the barometer have stabilized since the last reading in August, while others remain on a downward trajectory reflecting heightened trade tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors,” it said.

Air freight, raw materials and electronic components indices “all deteriorated further below trend”, with electronic components weakest amid tariff hikes, while automotive products and container shipping have firmed up, it said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Editing by Catherine Evans