Want a tidy explanation for why global trade is suffering? Here’s one from the IMF’s new World Economic Outlook (WEO): China is among the top 10 trading partners for more than 100 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. The world’s No. 2 no longer is buying stuff at the frantic rate it was a few years ago -- and almost everyone is feeling it.
Lifeless international markets for goods make up one of many factors that have combined to leave the global economy limping at an “increasingly fragile pace,” according to the WEO, which was released April 12 ahead of semi-annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank this weekend in Washington. The IMF now says the world’s gross domestic product will expand 3.2 percent this year, compared with a previous estimate of 3.4 percent.
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