SINGAPORE — Held back by the financial crisis in Europe, world trade will grow by a meager 2.5 percent this year, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.
Reuters reports the WTO cut the 2012 estimate (originally set at 3.7 percent growth in April). "I see the risk more on the downside than the upside," WTO Director General Pascal Lamy told a news conference in Singapore. "What could be surprising is that you have a volume of trade that is lower than world growth."

The WTO also lowered its forecast for 2013 to 4.5 percent growth from 5.6 percent, reports AFP. Lamy said Europe's crisis explains much of the downward revision. "The main reason for growth slowing down is being of course Europe where growth is slowing. But not only Europe, we also know that US is lower than expected," said Lamy.

The news comes a day after Germany, Europe's largest economy, which has largely withstood the crisis, reported an expected rise in unemployment in 2013, Die Welt reports.