International trade, finance and transport

In 2007, world merchandise trade remained a driving force of the world economy, growing by 7 per cent, with developed countries contributing about 45 per cent, developing Asia 40 per cent and other developing countries 14-15 per cent. However, both in volume and in dollar value, trade growth lost some of its strength, particularly for developed economies. Strong export growth in the United States, stimulated by the significant depreciation of the dollar, surpassed growth in import demand, leading to a reduction in that economy’s trade deficit. That was reflected in smaller surpluses elsewhere, especially in Europe, Japan and some developing regions. The adjustments were small and did not contribute materially to the required global macroeconomic rebalancing. Non-oil commodity prices continued increasing on the heels of robust global demand, but they also became more volatile. World market prices for many food crops rose significantly, in particular for wheat and maize, driven by increased biofuel demand. Oil prices surged to nearly $100 per barrel, as strong demand, especially from developing countries, eliminated much of the slack capacity in the oil market.

Related Subject(s): United Nations
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