Bart van Ark

Bart van Ark
Chief Economist
The Conference Board

September 2017

As the global economy keeps showing signs of strengthening, foreign trade has also exhibited a strong revival. The strengthening in global final demand, after a long period of weakness, has helped trade especially for durable consumer and investment goods. However, the global trade recovery should not be taken for granted. The shift toward more services-oriented economies in emerging markets as well as changes in the organization of global value chains might create a different relationship between trade and GDP going forward. Risk factors around high equity values, shocks to energy and commodity prices, and possible policy disruptions may also limit the trade recovery.


StraightTalk is a quarterly publication from the Chief Economist of The Conference Board. It provides economic research, objective analysis, and forecasts to help new economy business executives assess economic conditions impacting their markets.



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