latest figures come in the official comprehensive compilation for 2007,
“International Trade Statistics 2008”. The 6 per cent trade growth is
slightly higher than the preliminary
assessment of 5.5 per cent announced in April but still a considerable
decline from the 2006 figure.
The slowdown “is due to a deceleration of import demand, mainly in the
United States, but also in Europe and Japan,” the report says.
“Trade remained strong in most developing countries. Regions such as Africa,
the Middle East, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), developing
Asia and South and Central America showed sustained growth in their
economies in 2007.
“While higher commodity prices helped to improve the financial situation of
certain countries, higher energy and food prices also increased inflationary
Higher commodity prices induced a 19 per cent rise in the total value of
agricultural exports, a higher increase than for trade in manufactured
goods, fuels and mining products.
In value terms, for the first time in five years, commercial services trade
rose faster than trade in goods at 18 per cent compared with 15 per cent.
This was mainly due to the expanding international supply of many financial,
computer, and miscellaneous business, professional and technical services
and the increase in the price of transportation.
A comprehensive overview
International Trade Statistics 2008 offers
a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in world trade,
covering the details of merchandise trade by product and trade in
commercial services by category. Each chapter is introduced by a
highlights section that identifies the most salient trends in the
data and illustrates them with numerous charts and maps. There is
also a methodological chapter (Chapter IV Metadata) that explains
essential concepts and definitions used in compiling the statistics,
and an appendix with detailed data on trade by region up to 2007.
This year’s edition expands the coverage of merchandise trade,
including new tables on exports and imports of food and fuels by
selected economies. All data used in the publication, as well as
additional charts not included in the book, can be downloaded from
the WTO web site at
stat.wto.org. With these additions,
International Trade Statistics 2008 serves as an invaluable
reference for researchers, policy makers, and anyone interested in
This publication and its data is available free on the WTO web site
in the following forms:
Printed versions of this publication will be
available in November and can be ordered from the
online bookshop. Pdf versions of the entire report will also be posted on the
WTO web site.
explanatory notes and other technical details for statistical
tables (literally, a set of data that describes and gives
information about other data).
> More jargon:
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