Closing out World Trade Month

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“World Trade Month in May stems from World Trade Week, which was established as a way to promote local businesses. It has since grown into a month-long initiative to highlight US trade relationships and local and national trade events. As the WTCDC, part of the mission is to facilitate and enhance the exchange of goods and services in the international marketplace. Through events, the building fosters international dialogue and raises public awareness of the economic benefits that can be realized through trade.” 

The WTO issued a press release in April regarding world trade expectations in 2014.  The gist:

World trade is expected to grow by a modest 4.7% in 2014 and at a slightly faster rate of 5.3% in 2015. 

Other interesting insights include:

  • The WTO’s forecast of 4.7% growth in world merchandise trade for 2014 is below the average rate of 5.3% for the last 20 years (1993–2013) and also below the pre-crisis average rate of 6.0% for 1990–2008. The average rate of trade expansion in the three years since 2010 is 3.42%. Forecasts for 2014 and 2015, if correct, would raise the average to 4%, but this rate is insufficient to narrow the existing gap.
  • World merchandise trade is expected to post a 4.7% increase in 2014, with developed economies growing 3.6% and developing economies and the CIS advancing 6.4%. We expect that exports from Asia will grow faster than those from any other region (6.9%). Asia should be followed by North America (4.6%), South and Central America (4.4%), Europe (3.3%), and Other regions (3.1%), an aggregate that includes Africa, CIS and Middle East.

Two interesting graphical data representations include:

 Merchandise exports and imports in current US dollars by region, 2013 (click to enlarge): 

press721_map1_e10-year moving average of world trade, GDP and trade/GDP, 1990-2015 (click to enlarge): 


Read the full press release here.  Also, the WTO offers several data tools that allow you to customize trade information in various ways depending on your research objectives.

Our favorite trade data resources include:

  • WTO Market Access Data
  • U.S. International Trade Data
  • International Trade Statistics
  • World Bank Data & Statistics

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