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Merchandise trade dropped in the third quarter, while the growth of services trade eased, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The Paris-based group reported that merchandise trade in the G20 contracted, as both imports and exports fell, declining 2.1% and 1.2%, respectively, from the previous quarter.

The drop in trade was mainly attributed to a continued economic slowdown, “most notably in East Asia and Europe.”

China saw exports drop 6.1% in the quarter, the OECD said, noting that this was “partly driven by machinery and steel products.” It also saw a 3.5% drop in imports for the quarter.

Exports declined by 1.5% in the European Union, with Germany and France both seeing exports drop by more than 2%, “largely due to lower sales of machinery and transport equipment,” the OECD said.

“North America defied the trend, recording a rebound in exports, especially in the United States, primarily due to robust trade in the automotive and energy sectors,” it noted.

Preliminary estimates indicated that the trade in services for the G20 was flat in the third quarter, the OECD said.

“Services exports and imports are estimated to have grown at just 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively,” it reported, down from 1.1% and 1.0% in the second quarter.

Services exports contracted sharply in Japan, China and Korea, the OECD said, while travel drove import activity in Korea and Japan.

In the U.S., services exports rose by 1.8%, and imports grew by 0.2%.

For Canada, services exports increased by 0.8%, the OECD said, and imports were up 3.3%, “mostly driven by travel.”