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Category Archives: International Trade

The truth about global exports

When we try to explain Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage we invariably use a two country, two product example. Two hundred years ago, when Ricardo first put forward his theory of international specialisation and trade, it was really that simple. We produced something wholly within our country and sold it to their country. They produced something different, completely within their … Continue reading

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International Monetary Fund powerless to act

The word ‘war’ has been on the lips of international negotiators in recent months. This is nothing to do with Afghanistan or Iraq, but is just as significant. This is about the possibility of a global currency war. There are imbalances in the global economy which were at the heart of the recent collapse of the world economy. What are … Continue reading

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Upsurge in world trade forecast

World trade will grow by 13.5% in 2010 according to economists at the World Trade Organisation. This is faster than the March forecast of a 10% expansion in trade volumes. Merchandise exports of developed economies are predicted to expand by 11.5% in volume terms while the rest of the world (including developing economies and the Commonwealth of Independent States) is … Continue reading

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Strong UK manufacturing performance

Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to report buoyant trading conditions on the back of rising demand in overseas markets, pointing to good prospects for growth in 2010 according to a major survey published today by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and BDO LLP. The third quarter EEF/BDO ‘Manufacturing Outlook’ report reveals that recovery, which began at the end of last year, has … Continue reading

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G7 trade flows growing but at a slowing pace

Merchandise trade volumes for the G7 countries as a whole continued to grow in the first quarter of 2010, but at a slower pace than in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to statistics just released by the OECD.  Based on seasonally adjusted monthly data, merchandise trade values remain approximately 20% below pre-crisis levels in April and May.   G7 … Continue reading

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Trade expansion can be a low-cost stimulus

  Director-General Pascal Lamy of the World Trade Organisation gave a speech in Shanghai last Friday in which he emphasized the importance of trade to the worldwide recovery. He said: “Trade can be thought of as a stimulus package available to both developed and developing countries.  It has to be part and parcel of the economic recovery effort for growth … Continue reading

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UK trade picks up at last

It has been really puzzling as to why our balance of trade has not been improving. With sterling having depreciated by 25% since the beginning of 2007, we would have expected that this surge in price competitiveness to have boosted exports dramatically. The good news is that UK exports now seem to be really motoring. Well, not so much motoring, … Continue reading

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World Trade has been a casualty of the global crisis

Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organisation recently gave a speech in Brussels at which he explained the deterioration in world trade over the past year. He said: “These are not easy times. We know that in 2009, growth of real world GDP was negative, estimated at -2.2 per cent. Furthermore, the global unemployment rate reached its highest level … Continue reading

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Hung parliament? Don’t tempt me.

Why did sterling fall to a 10-month low against the dollar yesterday? The answer is that it was mainly driven by political concerns. With the latest opinion polls showing that Labour is closing in on the Conservatives, the prospect is that we will have a ‘hung parliament’ this summer, which means that no single party will have an overall majority. … Continue reading

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Recovery in OECD trade

The volume of merchandise trade of the G7 group of countries grew in the third quarter of 2009, after being largely stable in the previous quarter. In fact, exports from G7 countries grew by 5.0% quarter-on-quarter and imports rose by 4.1% in the third quarter. However, when we look at year-on-year figures, exports were down 17.5% and imports also fell … Continue reading

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