The growth of trade worldwide is set to slow down for the second year running according to the World Trade Organisation.
In the WTO’s annual forecast it says the main risks are of a deeper than expected recession in the eurozone, a worsening sovereign debt crisis, higher oil prices, and geopolitical risks.
Director General Pascal Lamy told reporters: “We again found ourselves with conflicting economic developments, portending either a continued crisis or slightly better times ahead.”
World trade growth is predicted to slow to 3.7 percent this year, that is down from last year’s five percent growth and way down on 2010’s record of 13.8 percent. In 2013 trade growth is expected to pick up to 5.6 percent.
The WTO says how this year goes is largely dependent on the seemingly diverging fortunes of the world’s top two trading powers – that is Europe and the United States.
The trade organisation’s economists see a slump in exports of goods from developed countries this year.
Exports from developing countries, a grouping that includes Russia, are expected to improve slightly from last year’s levels.