Business is booming.

How has trade survived covid-19?

IN QUENTIN TARANTINO’S “Kill Bill: Volume 2”, an action drama, the protagonist, played by Uma Thurman, punches her way out of a coffin. Global trade in goods has performed a similar death-defying stunt during the covid-19 pandemic. In April things looked dismal. Some predicted global trade would slump by more than 30% this year, compared with 2019. But after a gut-wrenching spring, trade volumes recorded their biggest monthly rise on record in June, the last month of available data (see chart). Oxford Economics, a consultancy, predicts that in 2020 as a whole volumes may drop by 10%.

This resilience has defied recent experience, as well as expectations. In 2009, when global GDP fell by 0.1% in the final year of the financial crisis, trade plunged by a whopping 13%.

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