World trade to fall

BarometerEconomists at the World Trade Organization have revised their trade forecast for this year to 5.8%, down from their earlier conservative estimate of 6.5%.

Trade has grown more slowly than expected in recent months while the outlook for the global economy is becoming increasingly uncertain.

“This is not the time for go-it-alone measures,” warns Pascal Lamy, the director-general. “This is the time to strengthen and preserve the global trading system so that it keeps performing this vital function in the future.”

The trade organisation’s warning comes just two days after the International Monetary Fund lowered its global growth forecast to 4% in 2012, from over 5% in 2010, which sent markets tumbling.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, it warned the global economy has entered “a dangerous new phase”.

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