Source: WTO.
Monthly Value of Exports or Imports, Selected Traders, 2006-2012
In addition to long wave economic cycles linked with phases of growth and recession, there are short wave cycles linked with the seasonality of economic activities.  Short term cycles mostly concern monthly fluctuations in trade with the prevalent pattern concerning a growth of trade between March and November and a decline between November and March. This is mostly linked with retail cycles. On the above figure, long wave and short wave cycles are superposed in a sample accounting for the world's largest exporters and importers. The credit-driven boom of 2001-2008 is apparent with the enduring growth of international trade. From 2008, a recessionary cycle was accompanied by a significant and synchronized drop in global trade. The main factor behind this drop was a sharp decline in the aggregate demand for durable goods as consumers forgo or delayed non-essential purchases.
It yet remains to be seen when a new growth wave will take place after the 2008 recessionary cycle. While China has resumed its export-oriented paradigm, exporters such as South Korea and Japan have seen limited growth. This is in part attributed to the outsourcing of Korean and Japanese manufacturing in China. The world's largest importer, the United States, has seen its imports barely recover to their pre 2008 levels.