Slowing global output growth has led WTO economists to downgrade their 2012 forecast for world trade expansion to 2.5% from 3.7% and to scale back their 2013 estimate to 4.5% from 5.6%.
"In an increasingly interdependent world, economic shocks in one region can quickly spread to others. Recently announced measures to reinforce the euro and boost growth in the United States are therefore extremely welcome," said WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy.
"But more needs to be done. We need a renewed commitment to revitalize the multilateral trading system which can restore economic certainty at a time when it is badly needed. The last thing the world economy needs right now is the threat of rising protectionism," he said.
According to a release from the WTO, the global economy has encountered increasingly strong headwinds since the last WTO Secretariat forecast was issued in April.
"Output and employment data in the United States have continued to disappoint, while purchasing managers' indices and industrial production figures in China point to slower growth in the world's largest exporter," the release from WTO notes.