Monday, December 01, 2008

World Economic growth projected to slow

The growth of the world's economy is expected to slow to 1 percent in 2009. That is down from 2.5 percent from the year before. The prediction was released at the meeting of world leaders arraigned by the United Nations in Doha.

As Reuters reports in this article found at the Financial Express, the global economy may even contract if the credit crisis continues to grow.

The report on World Economic Situation and Prospects 2009, an advance copy of which was issued at a development conference in Doha on Monday, urged coordinated international stimulus packages to limit the impact of a downturn in Western economies on poorer countries.

Next year's growth forecasts compare to global growth rates of 3.5 to 4 per cent from 2004-2007 and the report said the economic environment for developing countries had deteriorated sharply after early complacency.

"Most developed economies entered into recession during the second half of 2008, and the economic slowdown has spread to developing countries and the economies in transition," the report said.

"A large-scale fiscal stimulus coordinated among major economies would stave off the worst of the crisis would not prevent a significant slowdown of the global economy in 2009."

The Doha meeting, aimed at advancing U.N. goals on reducing extreme poverty, has been overshadowed by the financial crisis and the standoff between rich and developing states on reforming the Bretton Woods financial system.

The absence of most Western leaders, as well as the heads of the IMF and World Bank, has raised questions on how much the conference can accomplish.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the only Western leader to attend, prompting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to chide leaders of rich states for not attending in greater numbers. Rather than advancing talks after an earlier meeting in Monterey, Mexico in 2002, the U.N. and its aid partners have been focused on holding the line and ensuring aid commitments are kept, given the financial crisis.

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