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Analysis | Brussels, 29 May 2020

Commission publishes second report on impact of coronavirus on EU trade

According to the updated Commission estimates, the coronavirus pandemic will result in a decrease in global trade between 10%-16% in 2020.

For the EU27, the predicted reduction is expected to be between 9% and 15% for exports, and 11% and 14% for imports from non-EU countries (goods and services combined).

In absolute terms, using the latest available statistics, this amounts to a reduction in extra-EU27 exports between €282 and €470 billion and a decrease in extra-EU27 imports between €313 and €398 billion (goods and services combined).

The increasing spread of the virus has prompted many countries to temporarily shut down businesses, and restrict travel and the movement of people. These measures will lead to sharp contractions in the level of economic output, household spending, investment and international trade.

While there is a wealth of forecasts on GDP growth in 2020, there is a limited range of work done on trade projections for 2020, in particular for EU trade. The analysis outlined in the note published today is one of the few attempts at predicting the impact of the COVID19 outbreak on trade flows. It follows a first assessment by the Chief Trade Economist from April. It also compares results with other existing trade forecasts from international organisations.

More information

Impact of coronavirus on global and EU trade (May 2020)

Impact of coronavirus on global and EU trade (April 2020)