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BRIEF April 16, 2024

Trade Watch

Goods trade remained weak and services expanded; logistics stress climbed

  • Goods trade remained weak in the fourth quarter of 2023, capping the slowest year of growth for global commerce outside of a recession in the past 50 years. 
  • Trade in services grew robustly in the fourth quarter, partly making up for the decline in goods. Travel services exceeded pre-pandemic levels, but international tourist arrivals were yet to recover completely, particularly in Asia. 
  • Global container capacity stress and shipping rates surged amid persisting disruptions from the Red Sea attacks.

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Trade Watch—a product of the Trade and Regional Integration Unit of the World Bank—provides up-to-date data from an array of sources, along with analysis of recent trade developments.

About the Trade Watch series

Since April 2020, the World Bank has produced the COVID-19 Trade Watch series, which tracks trade flows in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series relies on real-time shipping data, official trade statistics for goods and services, and other sources to provide a perspective on how trade is responding to the latest economic developments.

Past issues of Trade Watch

4th Quarter 2023

3rd Quarter 2023

2nd Quarter 2023

1st Quarter 2023

July - September, 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020