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WTO Scales Back Global Trade Forecasts

A market in Homyel, Belarus
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has dramatically downgraded its global trade forecast for 2012, citing the European debt crisis as a key reason for the slowdown.

The Geneva-based body in April had predicted 3.7-percent growth in global trade volumes for 2012.

But speaking at a press conference in Singapore, the WTO's director-general, Pascal Lamy, said that estimate had shrunk to just 2.5 percent.

The WTO also scaled down its forecast for 2013, from 5.6 percent to just 4.5.

The struggling U.S. economy and a slowdown in China were also cited as factors contributing to the drop in global trade.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters