The new rate is only two thirds of their previous estimation of 2.8% and marks the first time in 15 years that international commerce was lower than global economy growth. This is also the slowest rate since the 2009 financial crisis.
The WTO says the rate reflect a slowdown in China and a decrease of foreign goods imported into the USA.
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo has expressed concern in a six-monthly trade outlook report. A quote of him in the report says, "We need to make sure that this does not translate into misguided policies that could make the situation much worse, not only from the perspective of trade but also for job creation and economic growth and development which are so closely linked to an open trading system."
Reuters reports that at one point, global trade was growing 1.5 times faster than gross domestic product, and twice as fast when globalization picked up in the 1990s. However, trade will grow only 80% as fast as the global economy this year.
The WTO said this is the first reversal of globalization since 2001 and only the second since 1982.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, speaking alongside Azevedo said that many people do not feel included in trade policy debates any more, and that, “there’s a growing anti-globalization movement. There are fears, questions, and we also see the figures that you presented this morning that absolutely give reason to be concerned."
The WTO has also lowered its expectations for 2017 global growth.
international - between different countries
forecast - an estimate (educated guess) about a future condition/situation
estimation - what you think/guess the number will be
commerce - buying and selling, especially on a large scale
reversal - suddenly going in the opposite direction
to not feel included - to not feel like people are accpeting / listening to you
global - as one world-system
globalization - toward a one-world system of economy, government, etc.
trade policy debates - discussions about making rules about trading internationally