The global economy is likely to shrink this year for the first time since World War II, and trade will decline by the most in 80 years, the World Bank said this week. “The global volume of trade has collapsed,” said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial.
U.S. gross domestic product is forecast to contract again this quarter after shrinking at a 6.2 percent annual pace from October to December, the most since 1982. U.S. imports and exports both slumped for a sixth straight month in January in what may be the biggest collapse of world trade since the 1930s, raising the threat of protectionist measures to shield domestic industries. The figures may add to pressure on the Obama administration to rework international agreements and include protections for U.S. workers and the environment. (Source.)