Merchandise trade volumes continued to grow in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the G7 countries, albeit at a slower pace than in the third quarter, states the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Recent monthly data on merchandise trade values confirm the continued recovery into early 2010. However, both volumes and values of trade remain below their pre-crisis levels of mid-2008, notes the OECD.
G7 merchandise export volumes grew by 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2009 and import volumes were up 3.1%. The largest rises were registered in the United States and Japan where export volumes rose by 6.4% and 6.1 %, respectively and import volumes rose by 3.4% and 3.0%, respectively. Compared with a year earlier, G7 export and import volumes were still down 3.3% and 5.7%, respectively.
Data for February 2010 point to further growth in G7 merchandise trade values, although exports and import values are still more than 20% below pre-crisis levels. Continued stronger recovery in imports than in exports led to a further widening of the overall G7 trade deficit.
In the OECD area as a whole, the value of trade in services also rose in the fourth quarter of 2009, with exports increasing by 6.1% and imports by 4.3% from the previous quarter, although both exports and imports of services rose less rapidly than exports and imports of goods.