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International trade statistics: trends in first quarter 2017OECD

G20 merchandise trade growth accelerates in Q1 2017
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G20 international merchandise trade in the first quarter of 2017, seasonally adjusted and expressed in current US dollars, increased for the fourth straight quarter and at the fastest rate since the second quarter of 2011.

Export growth picked up to 3.0% in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 1.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016 while imports increased by 4.0%, significantly up on last quarter’s 1.2% growth. G20 merchandise trade has almost regained its pre-crisis levels, but remains around 10% lower than the highs reached in 2011-2014.

All G20 economies, with the exception of France (where exports contracted by 2.4%), saw export growth in the first quarter of 2017. Australia recorded the highest growth (7.2%) among OECD G20 economies. Growth was also robust in Korea (5.7%), the United Kingdom (3.3%), Canada (2.9%), the United States (2.7%) and Japan (2.5%) but was more subdued in the G20 euro area economies with Germany (1.3%) recording the highest growth.

Export growth was especially strong in the BRIICS economies ranging from 3.5% in Indonesia to over 10% in Brazil and Russia.
Imports grew in all G20 economies in the first quarter of 2017. China recorded the highest growth in the G20 (9.6%), which worked to reduce China’s trade surplus (94.2 billion US dollars) to its lowest level since the second quarter of 2014. Strong import growth was also observed in Argentina (5.0%), Brazil (9.1%) and India (6.5%). Among OECD G20 economies import growth was highest in Korea (8.2%) and lowest in Turkey (1.8%).