Recent trends

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International trade rebounded in 2002 from its contraction in the preceding year, growing at about 2.5 per cent in volume terms, which was faster than the growth of global output. The rebound occurred despite the weakness of the global economic recovery, greatly reduced capital flows, major changes in exchange rates, increased restrictions on international trade transactions to mitigate risks from terrorism, and rising geopolitical tensions. Trade growth was strong in Asia and the transition economies, largely reflecting better economic performance in those regions. However trade was stagnant in Western Europe, and contracted in Latin America as a result of economic turmoil in a number of countries in the region. North America’s imports recovered in line with stronger domestic demand, while exports continued to decrease in 2002.

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