WTO Sharply Upgrades Forecast For Trade Growth In 2017

GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization has revised sharply upward its forecast for world trade growth this year to 3.6 percent, citing "resurgence in Asian trade flows" and a rebound in North American import demand.

         WTO had previously forecast a growth of 2.4 percent. The upturn compares to what the Geneva-based trade body called a "lackluster" performance of 1.3 percent growth last year.

         Director-General Roberto Azevedo hailed the "welcome news" Thursday, but warned the world economy still faces "substantial risks" that could undermine recovery.

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         He said risks included geopolitical tensions, economic fallout from natural disasters, and "protectionist rhetoric" that could translate into trade-restricting policies.

         WTO's revision was partly due to an increase in the forecast for overall world economic growth to 2.8 percent this year, from 2.6 percent in 2016.


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