Economics at your fingertips  

Understanding the weakness in global trade - What is the new normal?

Bruno Cabrillac (), Alexander Al-Haschimi, Oxana Babecká Kucharčuková, Alessandro Borin, Matthieu Bussiere (), Rafael Cezar, Alexis Derviz (), Dimitra Dimitropoulou, Laurent Ferrara (), Martin Gächter (), Guillaume Gaulier (), Juhana Hukkinen, Mary Keeney (), David Lodge, Michele Mancini, Clément Marsilli (), Jaime Martinez-Martin (), Wojciech Mroczek, Jakub Muck, Elena Pavlova, Judit Rariga, Juozas Šalaševičius, Daniel Santabárbara, Frauke Skudelny (), Ulf Slopek, Walter Steingress (), Alex Tuckett, Neeltje Van Horen, Duncan Van Limbergen (), Laurent Walravens and Julia Wörz
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Julia Maria Woerz () and Oxana Babecká-Kucharčuková

No 178, Occasional Paper Series from European Central Bank

Abstract: Global trade has been exceptionally weak over the past four years. While global trade grew at approximately twice the rate of GDP prior to the Great Recession, the ratio of global trade to GDP growth has declined to about unity since 2012. This paper assesses to what extent the change in the relationship between global trade and global economic activity is a temporary phenomenon or constitutes a lasting change. It finds that global trade growth has been primarily dampened by two factors. First, compositional factors, including geographical shifts in economic activity and changes in the composition of aggregate demand, have weighed on the sensitivity of trade to economic activity. Second, structural developments, such as waning growth in global value chains, a rise in non-tariff protectionist measures and a declining marginal impact of financial deepening, are dampening the support from factors that boosted global trade in the past. Notwithstanding the particularly pronounced weakness in 2015 that is assessed to be mostly a temporary phenomenon owing to a number of country-specific adverse shocks, the upside potential for trade over the medium term appears to be limited. The JEL Classification: F10, F13, F14, F15

Keywords: frictions in global trade; global trade slowdown; global value chains; protectionism; trade elasticity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int
Note: 2338703
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (24) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Occasional Paper Series from European Central Bank 60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Official Publications ().

Page updated 2022-11-19
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:2016178