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Krishen Rangasamy, analyst at National Bank Financial, explains that the global economy continues to struggle amid trade barriers as the slowdown of trade, and hence world GDP growth (the two are highly correlated), in the second half of last year coincided with the U.S. imposition of tariffs on various trade partners.

Key Quotes

“Weakness seems to have extended to this year as world trade volumes contracted again in Q1 after slumping the prior quarter. Major exporting economies, including the Eurozone and Japan, are not surprisingly struggling the most from the trade slowdown.”

“This is the first time since the 2008-09 global recession that trade volumes have contracted for two consecutive quarters. No wonder forecasters keep lowering their estimates for 2019 global GDP growth. Like us, the IMF just trimmed its 2019 growth forecast for the world economy to 3.3%.”