Trade growth was stronger around the world in the first half of 2004 than it had been for more than two decades. Nominal merchandise trade growth of 21% was due to a combination of strong real trade growth (9%) and a sharp increase in dollar prices (11%) bq. Riding a wave of higher oil and commodity prices, and vigorous global trade growth including recovery in trade in office and telecom equipment, developing countries saw their share in world merchandise trade rise sharply in 2004 to 31%, the highest since 1950. “WTO”:http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres05_e/pr401_e.htm Even in Africa, exports were up by 30% over a strong performance in 2003. But (there’s always a ‘but’):
* a sharp rise in the price of mineral and fuel commodities (more than 30%) accounted for much of the growth on a regional basis
* the outlook for 2005—forshadowed by the slowdown in the second half of 2004—is for a marked slowdown with a deceleration of merchandise trade growth from 9% (in real terms) to about 6.5%.
Peter Gallagher is a leading Australian consultant on trade and public policy.[bio].
"I can help you with strategies for, and analysis of, international markets, law and regulations, trade agreements, export policies, import restrictions… I also offer reports, conferences and master-classes for government officials and industry associations on international trade research."
Email: Peter Gallagher