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Services Trade Drops 30 percent Globally in Q2

According to the WTO, during the second quarter of 2020, global trade in services dropped 30 percent, particularly affecting travel and transport

Published on October 26, 2020

Grounded Plane Many planes have been grounded by the coronavirus pandemic. Photo Joël Super.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has reported a drop of 30% in the global trade of services during Q2 2020, as restrictions on international air travel and a substantial reduction in global tourism having a negative affect on transport and travel companies.

The WTO report indicates that a fall in the trade of services was recorded across most regions and most sectors, with the exception of computer services, which has grown due to the increasing use of technology for remote working practices.

According to the WTO, the "latest contraction in services trade is the steepest since the financial crisis, when global commercial services trade plummeted by 17% in the second quarter of 2009. Services exports in the second quarter of 2020 were down 32% in North America, 29% in Asia and 26% in Europe on a year-on-year basis. Preliminary estimates suggest even sharper declines for Latin America and the Caribbean (-46%) and a drop of 60-65% for least-developed countries."

With tourism heavily affected by the pandemic, the WTO report that international traveller's expenditure has dropped 81%, and transport down 31%. The WTO say that these two sectors account for 43% of services trade, highlighting a major contributing factor to the overall drop of 30%.

In spite of the global difficulties, the WTO do say that financial services have only been "margnically affected".

For full details on the latest statistics on services trade, go to www.wto.org/english/res_e/statis_e/latest_trends_e.htm

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