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Sustainable trade

Third quarter 2020 merchandise trade volume

Published 09 March 2021 | 1 minute read

The report provides key statistics on merchandise volume during the third quarter of 2020.

The report highlights that world merchandise trade volume increased by 11.6% in the third quarter of 2020 over the previous quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms.

The growth in the merchandise trade volume was supported by fiscal and monetary interventions, business adaptation, and the relaxation of lockdown measures in Europe and North America during the summer months.

World merchandise exports increased by 13.8% in Q3 2020. North America and Europe rose the most (20.1% and 19.3%) as businesses adapted with online retail. In contrast, exports remained weak in South and Central America (3.1%) and Other regions (3.3) due to surges of COVID-19 and a lack of fiscal and monetary policy capacity. Merchandise imports reflected similar trends (9.4%).

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The goal is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.

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