Global trade resumes growth in first quarter of 2024: UNCTAD

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Photo: Kabar

Global trade trends turned positive in the first quarter of 2024, with the value of trade in goods increasing by around 1 percent quarter-over-quarter and services by about 1.5 percent, WAM reports. 

According to the latest Global Trade Update released by UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the growth was primarily driven by increased exports from China (9 percent), India (7 percent) and the US (3 percent).

Conversely, Europe’s exports showed no growth and Africa’s decreased by 5 percent.

The report expects the increase to add approximately $250 billion to trade in goods, and $100 billion to services trade, in the first half of 2024 compared to the second half of 2023.

The short-term trade outlook is cautiously optimistic as the global forecasts for GDP growth remain at around 3 percent for 2024.

The report says that if positive trends persist, global trade in 2024 could reach almost $32 trillion, but unlikely to surpass the record level seen in 2022.

Trade in developing countries and South-South trade increased by about 2 percent in both imports and exports during the first quarter of 2024.

In comparison, developed countries saw flat imports and a modest 1 percent rise in exports.

South-South trade rose by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2024. However, its value is still significantly below the levels of 2022, as its four-quarter moving average remains negative at -5 percent.

The report highlights that trade growth varied significantly across sectors, with green energy and artificial intelligence-related products experiencing stronger increases.

The trade value of high-performance servers rose by 25 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023, while other computers and storage units saw an 8 percent increase.

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