World trade volumes continued to recover in the early part of this year, rising 5.3 per cent in the three months till the end of February over the previous three months, the Dutch CPB institute said.
The figures are a further sign of an economic recovery, with trade outpacing growth in the overall economy, as is typical.
The February increase was less than the 5.7 per cent jump recorded in the three months to January, but that was the biggest increase since 1991, according to figures from CPB whose data are used by the European Commission and World Bank. On this basis, trade has been growing strongly for several months in Asia, including Japan, and in Latin America, while it has been weakest in the euro area, the institute said in its latest world trade monitor issued late on Monday. Looking at the more volatile monthly figures, world trade volumes grew by 1.8 per cent in February over January, after falling 0.5 per cent in January. Trade levels are now seven per cent below the peak recorded in April 2008, but 16 per cent above the trough reached in May 2009, it said.