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The World Trade Organisation has raised its forecasts for world trade for 2014, but says it does not expect a return to its historic high until next year at the earliest.
The figures remain down on forecasts of a year ago, mainly because of the slow pace of European recovery, but the WTO says the situation there is starting to turn around.
After the weakness in growth at the start of this decade with the hangover from the 2008 financial crisis dragging the figures down, 2014’s 4.5% projected growth has been raised by two tenths of a point, and the 5.3% trade growth forecast for next year is back to the record pre-crash high.
“A return to positive growth in the EU for trade flows will make a very important contribution to trade growth globally as the EU accounts for around 2/3rds of world trade. So again we will be watching closely to see if the recovery in the EU disappoints,” said WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo.
However the WTO warns protectionism remains a brake on development, and that 80% of protectionist measures imposed in 2008 remain in place. It hopes they will be quickly removed as growth returns.