Merchandise trade showed “moderate growth” in the major economies during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s International Trade Statistics report.
Compared with the third quarter of 2012, the value of merchandise exports and imports for the G7 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries rose by 1.2 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.
However, performance varied widely across individual countries. Compared with the previous quarter, merchandise imports rose 7.7 percent in Brazil, 6.5 percent in India, 2.8 percent in China, 1.1 percent in Russia, 0.9 percent in the U.S. and 0.8 percent in France. Merchandise exports increased 4.8 percent in Russia, 3.8 percent in China, 3.1 percent in India, 1.4 percent in the U.S., 1.1 percent in Brazil and 0.1 percent in France.
In Germany, imports rose 0.2 percent, and exports dropped 0.6 percent, and in the U.K., imports increased 1.6 percent and exports declined 2.2 percent. Imports declined but exports rose in Canada, by 0.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, and in Italy, by 0.7 percent and 2.3 percent respectively.
Meanwhile, imports and exports contracted sharply in Japan, by 4.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, as well as in South Africa, by 1.4 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively.