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WTO Says Goods-Trade Value Rose 18% in 3rd Quarter

Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The value of world merchandise trade rose 18 percent in the third quarter, a slowdown compared with the 26 percent increase in the three months through June, the World Trade Organization said.

Statistics from about 70 economies representing 90 percent of world commerce show that trade in goods stagnated in July, fell in August and “bounced back” in September, the WTO said on its website today. Global merchandise exports were about 3 percent higher in the third quarter than in the second, according to the Geneva-based trade arbiter.

While commerce grew 23 percent in the first nine months of the year, “the value of world trade remains below its peak level from before the present financial crisis,” the WTO said. Still “the latest projection of 13.5 percent merchandise trade volume growth for 2010 remains unchanged for the time being.”

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said in September that the volume of world trade will climb 13.5 percent this year, raising his March forecast for 9.5 percent growth. The figures released today refer to “current” U.S. dollars, meaning they don’t take inflation into account and aren’t seasonally adjusted.

Trade in emerging markets led the increase in the third quarter, with exports from Asia growing 30 percent. Foreign shipments from Africa and the Middle East advanced 22 percent, due mainly to the rebound of commodity prices after the crisis.

Extending the trend in the second quarter, commerce between the European Union and the rest of the world rose “considerably faster than trade within the EU, which remained constrained by low economic activity,” the WTO said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer M. Freedman in Geneva at jfreedman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net;

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