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Real merchandise trade developments & output in 2006 – WTO reports

12
Apr '07
The pick up in global economic activity was the major factor in the vigorous expansion of global trade in 2006. Real merchandise export growth is provisionally estimated to have grown by 8.0% in 2006, almost two percentage points faster than in 2005, and well above the average expansion of the last decade (1996-2006). The expansion of real trade exceeded global output growth by more than 4 percentage points

In 2006, the variation in regional real trade growth increased even though economic growth by region differed less than in the preceding year. These divergent developments can be attributed largely to the terms of trade changes in favour of fuel-exporting countries and regions. The North American region comprises two net exporters of fuels and the United States, which is a major net importer of fuels.

The real merchandise exports of the United States rose by 10.5% in 2006, which was the highest growth rate since 1997 and almost two times faster than its import growth. Energy related petroleum products decreased by 2.5% in volume terms. Weaker domestic demand in the United States, a lower real effective (i.e. trade weighted) dollar exchange rate, and stronger global demand growth contributed to this favourable development.

Canada's merchandise exports slowed down markedly due to the combination of lower US demand and a marked appreciation of the Canadian dollar since 2002. Mexican merchandise trade expanded vigorously with both imports and exports up by double digit rates as its economy recorded its best growth since 2000.


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