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Trade prospects for 2007 - WTO reports

Apr '07
The marked correction in share prices observed on global stock markets at the end of February 2007 highlighted the increased uncertainty of investors with respect to the short-term prospects of the world economy.

The consensus among forecasters favours a moderate deceleration in world economic growth in 2007. The economic fundamentals in the major economies are strong enough to keep global economic growth close to 3% (GDP measured at market exchange rates).

US domestic demand slowed markedly in the second half of 2006 and is expected to weaken further in the first half of 2007. Imports of goods and services contracted between the third and fourth quarter (on a seasonally adjusted basis) and should remain subdued in the first half of 2007.

The slowdown in GDP growth in Europe is expected to be less pronounced than in the United States (and could be avoided in Japan), maintaining developed countries economic growth close to 2.5% in 2007. Demand in the oil importing countries is expected to benefit from on average lower import prices of fuels in 2007.

Although endogenous factors have played an increasing role in developing country economic performance over the last decade, the slowdown in industrial markets is likely to contribute to less dynamic growth in the developing world, which is still expected to grow at least twice as fast as the developed markets.

The most likely scenario is that GDP growth in 2007 will slow down in allregions, with relatively even growth among the regions in the developed and developing areas.

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Click here to read Real merchandise trade developments & output in 2006 - WTO Reports

World Trade Organization

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