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WTO Projects 1% 2023 Trade Growth

FILE: World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attends a press conference on WTO trade forecast at the intergovernmental trade organization in Geneva, Apr. 12, 2022.

The head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Friday it was sticking with its 1% projection for global trade growth in 2023 - for now.

In October, WTO economists predicted a 1% increase in global merchandise trade volumes for 2023, down sharply from the previous estimate of 3.4%.

Director general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the WTO was not revising down its projection. The next assessment will be in April, she said.

World trade is thought likely to have lost momentum in the second half of 2022 and to remain subdued in 2023 as multiple shocks weigh on the global economy.

Those impacts include rampant inflation that hikes prices, currency devaluations that increase goods costs, supply disruptions preventing timely delivery of goods to market, and the disruptions caused by conflicts, including Russia's attack upon Ukraine.