Source: Thomson Reuters Datastream / Fathom Consulting
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As our chart shows, the US dollar value of world trade has fallen over the past year or so, though by much less than it fell through the crisis. And the fact that the decline coincided with a collapse in the US dollar price of crude oil tells us much about its cause. Measured in volume terms, world trade has continued to grow steadily. What is undeniably true is that the pace of growth in world trade has slowed since the financial crisis. And more recently, demand from emerging markets appears to have stalled. This should not come as a great surprise, given that China’s slowdown, together with the resulting falls in commodities prices, is putting severe pressure on many of these economies. But this weakness is confined to developing economies. Indeed in 2015, import growth in advanced economies was the strongest since the bounce back in 2010.