TRADE FORECAST CUT: The World Trade Organization predicted global trade would grow 3.3 percent during 2013, significantly less than its prior forecast of 4.5 percent.
SLOW RECOVERY: Global trade rose 2 percent in 2012. Developed economies notched a 1 percent increase in exports while shipments from developing economies grew 3.3 percent. In dollar terms, the total value of merchandise traded in 2012 was $18.3 trillion, essentially unchanged from 2011 as prices fell for goods such as coffee, cotton, iron ore and coal.
PRESSURES: Exports were ravaged in 2012 by the financial turmoil in Europe, economic aftershocks from Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis, and political unrest in the Middle East.