Mubasher: The recovery in global trade is expected to slow down again during the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 after witnessing a rebound in the previous quarter, according to a report by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
In the upcoming months, the lower trade rebound would be attributed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on the travel sector and uncertainty about the timing and magnitude of stimulus packages.
The recovery of trade in goods is forecast to decrease by 1.5% in Q1-21 when compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020, while the trade in services would retreat by 7%.
During the last three months of 2020, global trade recovered to cut its overall drop for 2020 to around 9%.
Although imports and exports of goods rose by around 8% in Q4-20, trade in services stalled due to the COVID-19 repercussions on sectors such as travel.
"The recovery process has been uneven, with many countries lagging," remarked the UNCTAD Economist, Alessandro Nicita, who worked on the report.
In addition, the report referred that COVID-19 has had an impact on the competitiveness of countries in global markets due to the decline in global demand, with some economies gaining market share in certain sectors while losing it in others.