Trade value up by 5% in the first quarter of 2012

The value of world merchandise trade was 5% higher in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011, according to WTO figures released on 8 June 2012. This modest performance follows a slowdown in trade during the second half of 2011.

Chart 1: Recent quarterly developments in the value of world merchandise exports – Percentage change

These short-term indicators are in nominal value and should not be confused with the annual trade growth forecasts headlined “Trade groıvth to slow in 2012 after strong deceleration in 2011”, which are “volume” data that do not take price fluctuations into account. Moreover, these values are not seasonally adjusted. Seasonal pattems may considerably affect the comparison of quarter on quarter (Q-o-Q) and month on month (M-o-M) developments in world trade.

Chart 2: Value of world merchandise exports, first quarter 2008 to first quarter 2012_ – Trillion dollars