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World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010

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The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) is the definitive report of the United Nations on the state of the world economy. One of the most highly anticipated economic reports from the United Nations, it is jointly produced by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the five United Nations Regional Commissions. It provides an overview of recent global economic performance and short-term prospects for the world economy and of some key global economic policy and development issues.

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International trade

In 2009, world trade volume contracted by almost 13 per cent, that is to say, more than 20 percentage points below its annualized 8.6 per cent trend growth during the period 2004-2007. Furthermore, international trade had already seen a deceleration to 3 per cent in 2008. In the outlook, a modest recovery of world trade of 5 per cent is projected for 2010, assuming that global recovery sets in. Given this projection, the total loss of world trade during the period 2008-2010, compared to what it would have been at trend growth and without the crisis, will be equivalent to nearly $5 trillion, in other words, about 8 per cent of the annual world gross product (WGP).

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