Regional overview of merchandise trade

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The sluggish growth in developed economies and uncertainty linked to the European economic crisis continue to suppress global demand. Less than five years after the previous trade contraction, Asian and Pacific economies once again went through a fall in trade during 2012. Exports by developing economies in the region contracted by 1% in that year (figure 1.1). Regional export contraction would have been worse if it was not for exports from China, whose growth partially cushioned the average performance. Excluding Chinese exports, exports from Asia-Pacific developing economies decreased by 7% in 2012. Imports of developing Asia-Pacific countries also decreased from the previous year, at the rate of about 11%. In contrast with exports, the Chinese import contraction drove the downward average trend for Asia and the Pacific. Excluding China, developing Asia-Pacific imports in fact grew slightly, by 0.4% through the year.

Related Subject(s): International Trade and Finance
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