Trade typically grows and contracts at much faster rates than the overall economy, but the WTO data confirm the strength of the global recovery in the first half of this year.
Global exports of merchandise goods, measured by value in current dollars not adjusted for price changes, were 25.8 per cent higher in the second quarter than a year earlier, after a 25.7 per cent rise in the first quarter, WTO statistics showed.
That meant trade in the first half of the year was about 25 per cent higher by value than a year earlier, but still below its mid-2008 peaks.
The second-quarter rise in Russia and other former Soviet republics was 43.9 per cent, and in Asia 37.5 per cent. Even North America, including Mexico, outpaced the global figure, with a rise of 28.5 per cent, but export growth in Europe at 13.2 per cent grew at only half the overall global rate.
The figures are based on monthly statistics from about 70 economies representing about 90 per cent of world trade.