Read the lesson in English  
then translate to your own language to verify your understanding.

Slashing Forecasts and Feeling the Pinch

Oct 10, 2023

Today’s episode touches on trade, trends, and forecasts. Join me and learn 3 new words, and one useful expression.

Hello all you happy economists out there. This is Alan Robert, back with episode 81 of English for Economists. Here is today’s headline.

WTO slashes world trade forecast as manufacturing slowdown bites

Listen again. Try to understand what the WTO expects for world trade, and why.

“WTO slashes world trade forecast as manufacturing slowdown bites”

It’s a great headline for us to work with, because there are not one, not two, but three valuable lessons you can learn.

First things first, in case you don’t know, the WTO is the World Trade Organization, the organization which aims to facilitate and regulate international trade.

So, what does the WTO expect for world trade? Do they think it will grow or reduce? The headline says the “WTO slashes world trade forecast”. To slash! Wow… that is a strong verb. It means to cut, but to really cut. You say the word ‘slash’ and I immediately think of someone swinging a long sharp sword. Maybe a soldier from the middle ages.  Slash! You can slash forecasts, budgets, prices, all kinds of things. Great verb!

So, why is the WTO slashing its forecast? Well, the headline says it’s because ‘manufacturing slowdown bites’.  Bites! That’s another strong word. Bite, like with your mouth and your teeth, like when you chew. So the manufacturing slowdown bites; the manufacturing slowdown is being felt. It is biting into into the world trade forecast.

So, it looks like it’s going to be a tough year for world trade, which is unfortunate news for many countries. How about where you live? Will importers and exporters where you live ‘feel the pinch’ if global trade drops? If they ‘feel the pinch’, it means that they experience financial or economic hardship or strain. 

Speaking about ‘feeling the pinch’, how is your English coming along? Do you feel the pinch because you can’t move ahead as quickly in your career as you’d like to because your English isn’t good enough.  Well, I have some good news if you want to do something about it. We are just finishing up a 12 chapter video course absolutely full of useful vocabulary and pronunciation tips. These videos can really help you out, and they let you study on your own time, and on your own terms. If you’d like information about this upcoming course and learn how to get a break on the price – once again, so you don’t feel the pinch – just go to and write me a message.

So, getting back to our story, The WTO now expects world trade volumes to grow by just 0.8% this year, down from a forecast of 1.7% in April. Growth is expected to pick up to 3.3% in 2024.

The WTO says a slump in goods trade that began in the fourth quarter of 2022 is continuing, and hopes of a pick-up in demand have been crushed. As a result, trade is expected to grow more slowly than GDP this year but faster next year.

“WTO slashes world trade forecast as manufacturing slowdown bites”

Before finishing, here is the key vocabulary one last time.

WTO: World Trade Organization

To slash: To cut deeply. To reduce.

To bite: It means the negative impact is being felt.

Feel the pinch: That’s an idiom that means to experience financial or economic hardship or strain.

Sign up to our podcast club and get free access to all our podcasts and get special offers on courses and materials. When you sign up, remember you have to reply to the email to confirm your subscription. If you don’t do that, you won’t get the updates. I’m looking at the stats and I see that roughly half the subscribers haven’t confirmed. It that’s you, check your mailbox and do what needs to be done.

Keep learning! I’ll be back soon with another English lesson for economists.


Join Our Podcast Club

You Can Also Subscribe to Our Podcast On These Platforms:

Follow us on spotify
Apple Podcast


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Podcasts

Ireland’s Fishing Industry

Ireland’s Fishing Industry

[Music Break] Today, in our 74th podcast, we're examining a significant economic news piece while learning four key vocabulary words: "Death by a thousand cuts," "Fleets," "Quotas," and "Scrap." Let's take a look at today's headline: “'Death by a Thousand Cuts' for...

Debt Ceilings and ‘A Stitch in Time Saves Nine’

Debt Ceilings and ‘A Stitch in Time Saves Nine’

Last week, we looked at how investors were reacting to fears that the US government would reach its legally allowed spending limit, leading to spending cuts and loan defaults. The vocabulary we covered was: brace, debt-ceiling, and default. Brace meant to hold on...

The Debt Ceiling Crisis

The Debt Ceiling Crisis

Today, our topic is the debt-ceiling debate currently going on in the USA. Let's dive right in! In this episode, we'll focus on three key vocabulary words: brace, debt-ceiling, and default. These words are essential for understanding the headline and sub headline...

In Its Face and Breathing Down Its Neck

In Its Face and Breathing Down Its Neck

Hello and welcome to "English for Economists," episode 72. Today, I'm going to talk about a recent article published earlier this week by the Economist Magazine, which highlights the delicate position of South Korea as it tries to balance its relationship with both...

Wonking Out: Exploring the Future of the US Dollar

Wonking Out: Exploring the Future of the US Dollar

Hello and welcome to "English for Economists," episode 71. Today we're going to talk about a recent article published by Paul Krugman in the New York Times newsletter on February 3rd. The title of the article is "Wonking Out: Is the Dollar’s Dominance Under Threat?"....

The Impact of AI on Writing

The Impact of AI on Writing

In this episode, we will be discussing a recent news story published by The New York Times on the impact of artificial intelligence on the writing industry. The headline reads "Tinkering With ChatGPT, Workers Wonder: Will This Take My Job?" Listen again: "Tinkering...