Belfast Telegraph

World Bank predicting slow growth after tough year in 2019

Meagre gains: Franziska Ohnsorge
Meagre gains: Franziska Ohnsorge

By David Chance

The world economy is set to stage a recovery from the tough conditions of last year, although the gains will be painfully slow and narrowly based, according to the World Bank's latest forecasts.

Economic growth across the globe will tick up to 2.5% this year from 2.4% in 2019, according to World Bank economist Franziska Ohnsorge.

Those meagre gains, however, will come from a small grouping of developing countries and do not represent a broad-based economy recovery, she warned.

"2019 was a difficult year and it was a difficult decade," Ms Ohnsorge said during a visit to Dublin to present the results of the Bank's benchmark 'Global Economics Prospects' report to officials.

"The pick-up in growth is mostly due to a handful of emerging economies that are recovering," she said.

Last year was the slowest pace of economic growth across the world since the crisis hit more than a decade ago.

The decade itself has seen the slowest, albeit the longest, postwar economic recovery in the United States, the world's largest and most important economy which is the source of demand for everything from commodities to consumer electronics.

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While economic growth in the likes of Russia and Turkey is of course welcome, it hardly represents a "broad-based" recovery from the woes of 2019, Ms Ohnsorge noted.

The World Bank says that "advanced economies" are set to grow just 1.4% in what is a slowdown from 2019's 1.6%.

It expects the US economy, the world's largest, to see growth drop to 1.8% from 2.3% despite recent easing moves by the Federal Reserve.

Things are even worse for the euro area with growth of just 1% seen this year, following 1.1% in 2019.

Global trade growth, which the World Bank estimates slowed dramatically to just 1.4% in 2019, will recover slightly to 1.9% this year - still well below its historical averages.

Belfast Telegraph