The World Trade Organization revised downward its projection for world trade growth in 2013 to 2.5% in real terms from its April forecast of 3.3%, compared to a growth rate of 2.3% in 2012.
It attributed the change to a slower-than-expected recovery in the demand for imports in developing economies, which has negatively affected the growth of exports from both developed and developing countries. It expected world trade growth to accelerate to 4.5% in real terms in 2014, but to remain below the annual average rate of 5.4% reached between 1982 and 2012.
On the export side, the WTO anticipated a 1.5% increase in developed economies' exports, up from an earlier forecast of 1.4%; and a 3.6% rise in exports from developing countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) relative to a previous projection of 5.3%. On the import side, it forecast imports to developed economies to remain almost flat in 2013, down from an earlier forecast of a 1.4% expansion, and imports to developing countries and the CIS to rise by 5.8%, almost unchanged from the previous forecast.
In parallel, the WTO expected exports from developed economies to increase by 2.8% in 2014 and imports to these countries to grow by 3.2%; while it forecast exports from developing economies, including CIS countries, to increase by 6.3% in 2014 and imports to these economies to rise by 6.2%.
World Trade Organization – Byblos Bank Research