Good news… 🌍 global trade is up. It reached a record $28.5 trillion in 2021, @UNCTAD’s new Global Trade Update says, an increase of ±13% relative to pre-pandemic levels.
— UNCTAD, the UN trade & development body (@UNCTAD) February 17, 2022
Announcing that worldwide commerce amounted to around $28.5 trillion last year, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) explained that this represented an increase of almost 13 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019.
“The positive trend for international trade in 2021 was largely the result of increases in commodity prices, subsiding pandemic restrictions and a strong recovery in demand due to economic stimulus packages,” UNCTAD said, in its Global Trade Update 2022.
Significantly, the UN body pointed to data showing that trade in services finally returned to its pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021, while trade in goods remained strong, increasing by almost $200 billion, to about $5.8 trillion, a new record.
UNCTAD – which offers technical advice to developing countries to access the globalized economy – also noted that poorer nations’ exports outpaced their richer counterparts in the last quarter of 2021, compared with Q4 2020 (by 30 per cent versus 15 per cent).
South-South trade growth was also above the worldwide average in the last quarter of 2021, with an increase of about 32 per cent on Q4 2020, and with an increase of about 38 per cent when excluding east Asian economies.
Regionally, trade growth in the last quarter of 2021 remained very strong across all geographic regions, UNCTAD said, although it was lower in Europe, North America and east Asia. Commodity-exporting regions fared better, as commodity prices increased.