The World Trade Organization announced today that it expects international trade to grow by 9.5 percent in 2010. It projects developing countries' trade to increase by 11 percent, and industrialized countries' trade to expand by 7.5 percent.
World trade declined 12 percent last year due to the global economic crisis. In 2009, China became the world's leading exporter, with $1.2 trillion of merchandise exported. It overtook former lead exporter, Germany, which shipped out $1.12 trillion of goods. The United States, the world's top importer, assumed the third spot with $1.06 trillion of exports.
The projected 9.5 percent growth would need to be repeated in 2011 for the global economy to rebound to peak 2008 trade levels, according to WTO Chief Economist Patrick Low. The 2010 prediction could be too optimistic, Low said, if currency and commodity prices fluctuated, or if financial markets declined.