UNCTAD releases key data report on global economic, trade and development trends

12 December 2022

The annual Handbook of Statistics provides timely and reliable data on a wide range of economic and trade indicators so policymakers can take evidence-based decisions.

Cover of the Handbook of Statistics 2022
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Handbook of statistics cover

What are the major trends in trade and development? UNCTAD’s Handbook of Statistics 2022 has all the data.| Browse the key messages or download the report. ----- Trade surplus of developing economies increased The increase was mirrored by a widening trade deficit for developed economies. The surplus increased most in Africa. ----- Trade in services increased but did not reach pre-pandemic levels -15.9% 2020 +15.5% 2021 In 2022, UNCTAD nowcasts show continued growth of +14.6%. ----- Merchandise trade bounced back from COVID-19 -6.0% 2020 +22.1% 2021 The growth was largely driven by fuels (+72%). In 2022, UNCTAD nowcasts show continued growth of 13.8%. ----- Commodity prices soared in 2021 +55% Fuels accounted for 22 percentage points of the growth. The upward trend continued this year, with prices hitting their highest levels in nearly three decades. ----- International travel has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels In 2021, travel exports were still less than half (42%) their value in 2019. ----- Export diversification remains a challenge for developing countries Western Asia and Northern Africa had the least diversified basket of exports, followed by Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa. ----- Least developed countries’ economic growth in 2021 was slow +1.6% LDCs +4.5% Global GDP growth in LDCs fell far short of the 7% target enshrined in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ----- The world’s population hit 8 billion people in November 2022 But the growth has been declining since the late 1980s. In 2021, it dipped to +0.87%, down from +1.05% in 2019. ----- See the e-version of the Handbook. Interact with the data. E-HANDBOOK OF STATISTICS 2022 DOWNLOAD THE REPORT (PDF) WATCH THE VIDEO -----