Growth in the volume of merchandise trade accelerated from 3.0 per cent in 2002 to an estimated 4.7 per cent in 2003. Much of this improved performance was attributable to increased import demand in developing countries, particularly in Asia, and, to a lesser extent, in the transition economies (see table A.7). Additionally, most of the growth occurred in the second half of the year. In dollar terms, world trade grew by almost 13 per cent, reflecting not only the increased volume but also the continuing depreciation of the United States dollar during the year. In 2004, growth in the volume of world trade is forecast to reach 7½ per cent.

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