Canadian Manufacturing

OECD warns slowing trade hints at potential global recession

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says poor trade figures could point to economic trouble ahead

PARIS—A slow-down in international trade could be a harbinger of a new recession for the world’s leading economies, a leading global policy organization warned Monday.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says trade figures are “deeply concerning” because the stagnating or declining rates of trade this year “have, in the past, been associated with global recession.”

The Paris-based OECD made the warning in an update to its world economic outlook.

The OECD says in contrast to two years ago, when sluggish trade was blamed on advanced economies, now the fault centres on emerging markets such as China. As China transitions from massive infrastructure investment and manufacturing toward consumption and services, commodity prices have fallen, hurting exporters such as Australia, Brazil, Canada and Russia.

The OECD is made up of 34 of the world’s most developed countries and advocates for policies to promote growth, education and social welfare issues.

In a nod to the upcoming COP 21 global climate talks in Paris, the report says “action is needed now” to address climate change. The OECD urged leaders from nearly 200 countries gathering for the talks aimed at limiting emissions that cause global warming to not use economic weakness as an argument for policy inaction.

The organization also touched on European divisions over how to handle the surge in migrants, saying a collective approach and the right policies would not only lighten the economic burden of the newcomers but could also make them “likely to benefit the host countries.”

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