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.
The organization’s chief economist, Patrick Low, told reporters that projections will probably have to be revised in the third or fourth quarter.
Last year, boosted by results from robust emerging economies such as China and India, global trade in value terms increased 15 percent to $13.6 trillion, the study said. The disparity between the rate of increase in trade volume and value is largely attributed to the weakened dollar, since global trade is calculated on U.S. currency.
The report, “World Trade 2007 and Prospects for 2008,” said the fastest-growing major emerging economy, China, posted a 26 percent increase in exports to $1.2 trillion last year, which elbowed out the U.S. as the world’s second-largest exporter, behind top-ranked Germany. The U.S. was positioned third with $1.1 trillion in goods exports, up 12 percent.
Low said emerging countries accounted for more than half the world’s trade growth last year. South Asia’s most dynamic economy, India, moved up two slots to be the 26th largest exporter, with shipments worth $145 billion, a 20 percent gain from the year before.
Last year, the U.S. remained the world’s top importer with a 5 percent increase in the value of shipments to $2 trillion, followed by Germany with a 17 percent advance to $1 trillion, and China in third place with $956 billion, up 21 percent.
The report said U.S. imports from China “rose by 12 percent, more than twice as fast as total imports, despite very weak U.S. import demand in electronic goods and clothing,” two key sectors of U.S. imports from China.Energy-rich Russia, flush with huge increases in export revenues, notched a 35 percent rise in imports to $223 billion. A significant increase was also reported by India, with imports up 24 percent to $217 billion, and Turkey, which was up 22 percent to $170 billion.
WTO director general Pascal Lamy said the economic turmoil has not led to a disruption in global trade, but noted “protectionist pressures are building as policy makers seek answers to the problems that confront us.” He said the best way to reinforce the global trading system is to conclude Doha global trade talks, launched in November 2001 and aimed at lowering tariffs and other barriers to global commerce.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia