World Commerce Shrinking Amid Trade War and Sapping Global Economy

- Updated

LONDON — A weakening world economy, President Trump’s trade war with China and fears of a potentially tumultuous Brexit have combined to produce a dramatic slowdown in global commerce, the World Trade Organization said Tuesday.

The Geneva-based organization slashed its forecast for trade growth for this year and 2020, a troubling indicator as economists warn of continued weakness in the global economy.

World trade in merchandise is now expected to expand by only 1.2 percent during 2019, less than half the 2.6 pace of growth anticipated in April, the W.T.O. said in a statement. World trade is forecast to reach 2.7 percent next year, below the 3 percent previously foreseen.

“Risks to the forecast are heavily weighted to the downside and dominated by trade policy,” the organization said.

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