GENEVA — Spurred by the solid gains of major Asian economies, global trade volume is projected to expand 13.5 percent in 2010, which would represent the biggest increase since 1950, the World Trade Organization said Monday.
The trade growth forecast is an increase from the 9.5 percent gain WTO economists forecast in March. Overall, the WTO estimates exports from developing nations will grow 16.5 percent and shipments from rich nations will expand 11.5 percent.
The economists said “if the forecast holds,” by the end of this year, global trade should recover to be close to 2008 levels. Last year, world trade fell 12.2 percent, the biggest decline in more than six decades, as a result of the global recession.
WTO director-general Pascal Lamy said the rebound signaled improved economic activity worldwide and noted the surge in trade flows “provides the means to climb out of this painful economic recession and can help put people back to work.”
“It underscores, as well, the wisdom governments have shown in rejecting protectionism,” he said.