WTO predicts worst trade decline in more than 60 years

As far as international trade is concerned, the G-20 meeting cannot occur a moment too soon.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has just issued a report predicting that global trade will plunge about nine percent in 2009 -- the worst performance in the 62 years the WTO has been keeping such records. The takeaway from the findings, based on new data for the first months of the year, couldn't be clearer: The economic crisis is having a devastating effect on world trade, and further adverse developments in the financial markets could prolong the misery. The question now is whether the developed-nation leaders meeting this week in London will take the steps needed to ease the global slump and get the economy back on a sustainable growth track.