WTO upbeat on global trade, but risks linger

The World Trade Organization expects global trade to rebound from the pandemic this year, but sluggish vaccine rollouts in poor nations will cast a shadow.

The WTO released its latest forecasts on Wednesday, saying volumes of goods shipped internationally will grow by 8 percent in 2021, fueled by massive stimulus. That is after a fall of 5.3 percent last year.

But it predicts the pace will drop to 4 percent in 2022 due to slower rates of vaccination in developing countries.

The WTO's Director-General called for swifter distribution of vaccines around the world.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said, "A rapid, global and equitable vaccine rollout is the best stimulus plan we have for the strong and sustained economic recovery that we all need."

She warned that growth could fall short of forecasts if large numbers of people do not get equal access to jabs.