World trade growth may slip 1% this yr
THE outlook for world trade in the ongoing calendar year appears bleak, with growth expected to dip to 4.5% from 5.5% in 2007. According to the World Trade Statistics 2008 report compiled by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a sharp economic deceleration in key developed countries is only partly being offset by continuing strong growth in emerging economies like China and India. While India’s share in world merchandise exports at $145 billion has remained more or less static at 1.06%, its rank among the world’s top service exporters has improved two places to 11 in 2007. India exported $86 billion of services in 2007, accounting for 2.7% of global service exports. China, on the other hand, was the seventh largest exporter of services in 2007 with exports worth $127 billion. In merchandise trade, China was the second-largest exporter after Germany. It exported goods worth $1,218 billion in 2007, accounting for 8.8% of world trade. The one percentage slide in global merchandise trade in 2008 is based on the assumption of a basic scenario of global GDP growth between 2.5% and 3%, the report said. This estimate is supported by the results of the WTO Secretariat’s time series forecasting model which predicts a slowdown in the OECD area’s imports of goods and services to 3%, a further 1.5 percentage point decrease from the already subdued rate observed in 2007. The present economic growth forecast for developed markets is 1.1% while for developing countries, the growth is forecast at above 5%.