Pandemic increased global trade balance but IMF expects it to decline

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Washington, August 2 (EFE) .- The covid-19 pandemic has increased the global trade balance, which is the sum of the trade surpluses and deficits of all countries, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) s ‘expects it to return to the downward trend in the years to come.

In an external sector report released on Monday, the Fund explained that, according to its calculations, this indicator of global trade activity fell from 2.8% of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 to 3.2. % in 2020.

This means that over the last year, globally, countries have posted increasingly large surpluses (they have sold more products and services abroad than they have imported) and less and less deficits. many, although not all countries have necessarily followed this trend.

So, for example, economies that traditionally ran trade deficits like the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Canada ended the year with negative numbers, while countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada ended the year with negative numbers. -Bas, Mexico, Poland and Russia closed with large surpluses.

In the years leading up to the onset of the pandemic, the trend was towards a gradual approach to zero, i.e. larger and larger surpluses were recorded in the total calculation, but these were weaker and weaker.

According to IMF estimates, this trend would have continued in 2020 without the coronavirus, and the international body hopes that once the pandemic returns to normal with the pandemic under control, the world trade balance will fall again each year by gradually. to 2.5% of global GDP in 2026.

This means that, according to the Fund’s projections, between 2022 and 2026, countries with trade surpluses will on average import more or export less, while deficit countries will import or export on average less. Following.

It should be mentioned that this trade balance metric is limited to transactions of goods and services, excluding financial transactions, which are calculated using another indicator.

The report identified four basic reasons for the change in trend in 2020: the reduction in tourism – which has severely affected the economy of countries like Spain and Turkey -, the drop in demand for oil in the first months pandemic, increased trade in medical products and a change in household consumption patterns (from services to durable goods).

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