World economy is slowing down, UNCTAD’s new statistics say

News:United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) has released its Handbook of Statistics report.


About the report:

  • The report provides a wide range of statistics and indicators relevant to the analysis of international trade, investment, maritime transport and development.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • The report has predicted that the World gross domestic product(GDP) is expected to grow by 2.3% which is 0.7% points less as compared to last year.
  • The report predicts that merchandise trade will drop by 2.4% to $19 trillion for 2019-2020.The drop is significant when compared to the growth in the last few years of 9.7% in 2018 and 10.7% in 2017.
  • The trade in services is also predicted to slow.It will increase only by 2.7% to $6 trillion, a considerable deceleration from 7.7% in 2018. 
  • The report also said that world seaborne trade volumes experienced just a nominal surge by only 2.7% which was 4.7% in 2017.These and other trends underline the fact that the world economic activities are slowing down.
  • According to the report,the values of the goods exported exceeds the value of the goods imported especially for developing and transition economies.
  • Further,over the last few years,the trade surplus of developing countries has also decreased. PIt was $455 billion in 2014 and has reduced to $335 billion in 2018.

Additional information:


  • UNCTAD is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and part of the UN Secretariat.Currently,UNCTAD has 195 member states.
  • It was formed specifically to handle the problems of developing countries dealing with trade, investment and development issues.

Reports published by UNCTAD:UNCTAD produces a number of topical reports, including:

  • The Trade and Development Report
  • The Trade and Environment Review
  • The World Investment Report
  • The Economic Development in Africa Report
  • The Least Developed Countries Report
  • UNCTAD Statistics among others.