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Global commercial spending increased 10.9% last year to $90.2 trillion from $81.3 trillion in 2007, according to a report Visa Inc. released this week. Visa's global Commercial Consumption Expenditure index, which uses a variety of data sources to estimate worldwide business and government spending, showed the strongest growth rate occurred in the Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, where commercial spending rose 23.3% last year to $7.4 trillion from $6 trillion in 2007. The second-highest growth rate was measured in the Latin America/Caribbean region, where commercial spending rose 16.3% to $5 trillion in 2008 from $4.3 trillion the previous year. Commercial spending in the Asia Pacific region increased 13.6% to $23.4 trillion from $20.6 trillion a year earlier, while it rose 9.6% in Europe to $31.9 trillion compared with $29.1 trillion. In the U.S., commercial spending rose 5.2% to $20.3 trillion compared with $19.3 trillion and in Canada commercial spending rose 4.5% to $2.3 trillion from $2.2 trillion the previous year. Europe comprised the largest share of global commercial spending last year, with 35.3% share of the total, followed by the Asia Pacific Region (25.9%), the United States (22.5%), Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (8.2%), Latin America/Caribbean (5.6%) and Canada (2.5%).

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