World Trade Contracted in 2015 for First Time Since Financial Crisis

By Brian Kesten

The Netherlands’ Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis’s World Trade Monitor reported Thursday that the value of goods traded internationally fell by nearly 14% in 2015. The drop in trade value marks the first time since the 2009 financial crisis that international trade value suffered a contraction. Under the circumstances, the International Monetary Fund has advised G20 members that global growth in 2016 may not meet expectations.

China’s exporting woes are perhaps most responsible, while currency crises across the globe have also contributed. These factors combined in Brazil, where the Brazilian real has declined in value, and Chinese imports to Brazil declined 60% in January 2016 compared to January 2015.