WTO: War in Ukraine to curb trade, economic growth this year

Apr 12, 2022, 6:27 AM | Updated: 6:40 am

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization predicted Tuesday that trade in goods will grow much less than previously expected this year, saying prospects for the global economy have darkened since the onset of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In the latest grim economic outlook to emerge, the Geneva-based trade body pointed to multiple uncertainties in its forecast over the next two years because Russian and Ukrainian exports of items like food, oil and fertilizers are under threat from the war. It also cited the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — notably from lockdowns in China.

“It’s now clear that the double whammy of the pandemic and the war has disrupted supply chains, increased inflationary pressures and lowered expectations for output and trade growth,” WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala told reporters.

The WTO said its projections for world trade take into account factors like the impact of the war, sanctions on Russia and shrinking worldwide demand amid lower business and consumer confidence.

It said world merchandise trade volume is expected to grow 3% this year, down from a forecast of 4.7% before the war began. For 2023, it’s expected to increase 3.4%.

The trade body also projects that global gross domestic product at market exchange rates will grow by 2.8% this year, down from the 4.1% previously anticipated.

Okonjo-Iweala said the war has caused “immense human suffering” in Ukraine and its effect has rippled around the world, notably in poorer countries, adding: “A potential food crisis is looming.”

She said high fuel prices and expensive fertilizer pose a threat to future crop yields, and the war has further strained global supply chains already under pressure.

The WTO is part of a steering committee set up by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to look into the possible food crisis. The panel has discussed, among other things, whether countries with “additional buffer stocks” of grain could release some supply into international markets, Okonjo-Iweala said.

She expressed hopes for a “humanitarian cover” to ensure that the harvest of 80% of Ukraine’s winter wheat in July can go forward, and that wheat can be planted in the country in September.

The WTO outlook follows a similarly downbeat forecast from the World Bank.

The Washington-based lender said in a report Sunday that the war in Ukraine is set to inflict twice the amount of economic damage across Europe and Central Asia that the COVID-19 pandemic did.

It also said Ukraine’s economy will shrink by 45.1% this year. Besides Ukraine, the report focused on central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet republics, the Balkan countries and Turkey.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Judge throws out Maine lawsuit against COVID vaccine mandate

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a complaint from a group of health care workers who said they were unfairly discriminated against by Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The plaintiffs sued Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and other Maine officials along with a group of health care organizations in the state. The workers argued […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Federal court rejects Mississippi student’s racial bias suit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A lawsuit alleging a school district in a small Mississippi Delta town discriminated against a Black student and stripped her of an academic award has been dismissed by a panel of federal judges. Olecia James filed the federal lawsuit in 2019 against the Cleveland School District, claiming officials prevented her from […]
19 hours ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday,...
Associated Press

Pence says he didn’t leave office with classified material

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he didn’t take any classified information with him when he left office. The disclosure — which would typically be unremarkable for a former vice president — is notable given that FBI agents seized classified and top secret information from his former boss’s […]
19 hours ago
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)...
Associated Press

Don’t dawdle with latest iPhone update. Here’s why and how

Apple released an upgrade Wednesday to close a security hole that could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones and several other popular Apple products.
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Construction set to begin on first US Coast Guard Museum

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — Construction is set to begin on a long-awaited national museum that will honor the U.S. Coast Guard. A special keel-laying ceremony, a term that’s usually used to celebrate construction of a cutter, was held on Friday at the museum’s riverfront site in New London, Connecticut, about 40 miles south of […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

3rd attempted murder charge filed in shooting of Indiana cop

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors have filed a third attempted murder charge against a man accused of shooting an eastern Indiana police officer in the head during a traffic stop and search for possible narcotics. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office filed the new charge against Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond for shooting at a […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
WTO: War in Ukraine to curb trade, economic growth this year