After lagging the pace of global growth in 2023, global trade is projected to pick up to 2.3 percent in 2024, mirroring projected growth in global output.
This reflects a partial normalisation of trade patterns following exceptional weakness last year.
The World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report revealed that global trade in goods and services was virtually flat in 2023, growing by an estimated 0.2 percent—the slowest expansion outside global recessions in the past 50 years.
‘’Goods trade contracted last year, reflecting declines in key advanced economies and deceleration in EMDEs, and mirroring the sharp slowdown in the growth of global industrial production. This marked the first sustained contraction in goods trade outside a global recession in the past 20 years.
‘’Reflecting stagnant goods trade and fading pandemic-era disruptions, global supply chain pressures have returned to pre-pandemic averages after receding to record lows in mid-2023. Services trade slowed in the second half of 2023, following an initial rebound from the pandemic.’’
Goods trade is envisaged to start expanding again, while the contribution of services to total trade growth is expected to decrease, aligning more closely with the trade composition patterns observed before the pandemic. However, in the near term, the responsiveness of global trade to global output is expected to remain lower than before the pandemic, reflecting subdued investment growth. This is because investment tends to be more trade-intensive than other types of expenditures.
Global tourist arrivals are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024, although the recovery is set to lag in some countries where reopening was delayed. The global trade growth forecast for 2024 has been revised down by 0.5 percentage point since June, reflecting weaker-than-expected growth in China and in global investment. As a result, the recovery of trade now projected for 2021-24 is the weakest following a global recession in the past half century.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s total trade in the third quarter of 2023 stood at N18, 804.29bn. Exports were valued at N10, 346.60bn while total imports stood at N8,457.68 bn.
Total exports increased by 60.78 per cent compared to the amount recorded in the second quarter of 2023 (N6, 435.13bn) as well as by 74.36 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2022 (N5, 934.15bn). Similarly, total imports increased by 47.70 per cent compared to the value recorded in the second quarter of 2023 (N5, 726.25bn) and by 33.33 per cent when compared to the value recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2022 (N6, 343.53bn).
Meanwhile, the World Bank had projected that the global growth will slow for the third year in a row—from 2.6 per cent last year to 2.4 per cent in 2024, almost three-quarters of a percentage point below the average of the 2010s.
Developing economies are projected to grow just 3.9 per cent, more than one percentage point below the average of the previous decade. After a disappointing performance last year, low-income countries should grow 5.5 per cent, weaker than previously expected.