The various predictions being made these days for overall economic and commercial success in 2020 couldn’t be more conflicting. On the one hand the third quarter has shown that the global economy is capable of rapid improvement. Unctad, for one, recently predicted that this year will see an overall decline in the total value of trade of 7– 9% vis-à-vis the previous year, despite signs of a clear recovery in the third quarter. The latter will thus not suffice to lift world trade out of the red vis-à-vis last year.
The assessment of a 9.2% decline by the World Trade Organisation, in turn, may be at the upper end of Unctad’s range, but is optimistic on global GDP. 2020’s 4.8% drop could be balanced out by a 4.9% upswing in 2021.
These and all the other predictions made for this year have to be seen with all the more reservations than in other years. Unfortunately, the only appropriate comment is that we don’t really know the necessary details, as the period for which the anti-pandemic measures will apply is uncertain. This is an unusual state of affairs, especially as our modern society is frequently considered innovative, flexible and dynamic.
The perfect reaction that remains is the typically British approach to a crisis – ’keep calm and carry on.’ A nice cup of tea to accompany this issue could also help the mood.