Istanbul, June 25 () - The volume of world merchandise trade increased modestly in the first quarter of 2015, with growth in both exports and imports registering slower growth than over the previous six months.
World trade as measured by the average of exports and imports grew 0.7 per cent in the first three months of 2015, according to the data prepared jointly by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released on Thursday.
World exports increased by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, down from the 2.1 per cent growth registered in the previous quarter. Imports grew by 0.9 per cent in the same period, down from 1.5 per cent in the previous quarter.
Exports from developing and emerging economies rose 1.5 per cent in the first quarter, with all regions except Asia registering growth of 3.0 per cent or greater. In contrast, exports from developed countries fell by 0.5 per cent in the same period, with US exports decelerating by 4.5 per cent.
Developing and emerging economies increased their imports by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter, with South and Central America and the Caribbean registering strong import growth at 6.8 per cent. Developed economies increased their imports by 1.3 per cent, led by stronger import growth in Europe and North America.
Growth in the volume of world merchandise trade was seen to pick up only slightly this year and in 2016, rising to 3.3 percent in 2015 and eventually to 4.0 percent in 2016, from 2.8 percent in 2014, WTO economists announced in April.
“By withdrawing protectionist measures, improving market access, avoiding policies which distort competition and striving to agree reforms to global trade rules, governments can boost trade and seize the opportunities that it offers for everyone” Director-General Roberto Azevêdo had stated, when the outlook was announced.