Global trade hits record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021: UNCTAD

Global trade hits record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021: UNCTAD

WAM: All major trading economies saw imports and exports rise above pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of 2021, with trade in goods increasing more strongly in the developing world than in developed countries.

UNCTAD’s Global Trade Update published on 17 February shows that in 2021, world trade in goods remained strong and trade in services finally returned to its pre-COVID-19 levels.

“Overall, the value of global trade reached a record level of $28.5 trillion in 2021,” the report says. That’s an increase of 25% on 2020 and 13% higher compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

While most global trade growth took hold during the first half of 2021, progress continued in the year’s second half.

After a relatively slow third quarter, trade growth picked up again in the fourth quarter, when trade in goods increased by almost $200 billion, achieving a new record of $5.8 trillion.

Meanwhile, trade in services rose by $50 billion to reach $1.6 trillion, just above pre-pandemic levels.

The report shows that in the fourth quarter 2021, all major trading economies saw imports and exports rise well above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

But trade in goods increased more strongly in the developing world than in developed countries.