The volume of world merchandise trade increased modestly in the first quarter of 2015, with growth in both exports and imports registering slower expansion than over the previous six months.
According to preliminary estimates issued on Wednesday by the World Trade Organization and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, world trade, as measured by the average of exports and imports, grew 0.7 percent in the first three months of 2015, based on seasonally adjusted data.
World exports increased by 0.4 percent in the first quarter of this year, down from the 2.1-percent growth registered in the previous quarter. Imports grew by 0.9 percent in the same period, down from 1.5 percent in the previous quarter.
Exports from developing and emerging economies rose 1.5 percent in the first quarter, with all regions, except Asia, registering growth of 3 percent or greater.
In contrast, exports from developed countries fell by 0.5 percent in the same period, with US exports decelerating by 4.5 percent.
Developing and emerging economies increased their imports by 0.6 percent in the first quarter, with South and Central America and the Caribbean registering strong import growth at 6.8 percent.
Developed economies increased their imports by 1.3 percent, led by stronger import growth in Europe and North America.