By  on April 18, 2008

GENEVA — Global trade in 2008 is projected to increase at the lowest rate in six years because of turmoil in financial markets and the sharp economic slowdown in the U.S. and other major economies, a new report said Thursday.

The study by the World Trade Organization predicted that trade volume would go up 4.5 percent, or 1 percent less than 2007. However, the report cautioned that there are considerable downside risks. The WTO warned that a stronger economic downturn “could cut trade much more sharply, to significantly less” than the level forecast.

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