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Economic Analysis and Policy

Global growth prospects have weakened significantly amid the war in Ukraine, rising energy, food and commodity prices, soaring inflation and tightening monetary policy stances by major central banks. The world economy is projected to grow by 3.1 per cent in 2022, marking a downward revision of 0.9 percentage points from our previous forecast released in January 2022. The baseline forecast faces significant downside risks from further intensification of the war in Ukraine and potential new waves of the pandemic.

Growth forecasts for the United States, European Union and China have been revised downward, with the European Union registering the most significant downward revision.…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The global economic recovery is facing significant headwinds amid new waves of COVID-19 infections, persistent labour market challenges, lingering supply-chain challenes and rising inflationary pressures. After expanding by 5.5 per cent in 2021, the global output is projected to grow by only 4.0 per cent in 2022 and 3.5 per cent in 2023, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022.

The robust recovery in 2021 – driven by strong consumer spending and some uptake in investment, with trade in goods surpassing pre-pandemic levels — marked the highest growth rate in more than four decades, the Report highlighted. Yet the momentum for growth –…

Economic Analysis and Policy, Social Development

New approaches made possible through improved access and Internet connectivity can raise the standard of living for approximately 3.4 billion people living in rural areas, without them having to migrate to cities, according to the newly released 2021 World Social Report “Reconsidering Rural Development.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, together with already persistent high levels of poverty and inequalities, are threatening to stall progress for the world’s rural populations. But the pandemic has also proven that new technologies can enable rural populations to flourish, ending the rural-urban divide.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the new technologies opened up new…

Economic Analysis and Policy

While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world economy.

According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2021 report, following a sharp contraction of 3.6 per cent in 2020, the global economy is now projected to expand by 5.4 per cent in 2021, reflecting an upward revision from the UN forecasts released in January. Amid rapid vaccinations and continued fiscal and monetary support measures, China and the United States – the two largest economies – are on the path to recovery.

In…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The United Nations today warned that the devastating socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt for years to come unless smart investments in economic, societal and climate resilience ensure a robust and sustainable recovery of the global economy.

In 2020, the world economy shrank by 4.3 per cent, over two and half times more than during the global financial crisis of 2009. The modest recovery of 4.7 per cent expected in 2021 would barely offset the losses of 2020, says the latest World Economic Situation and Prospects.

The report underscores that sustained recovery from the pandemic will depend not only on the size of the stimulus measures, and the quick…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The new report examines five megatrends: climate change; demographic shifts, particularly population ageing; urbanization; the emergence of digital technologies; and inequalities –that are affecting economic, social and environmental outcomes. Efforts to reverse or redirect these trends must be reinforced to ensure that we achieve the full measure of the 2030 Agenda, and set the stage for an inclusive, sustainable and equitable future during the next 75 years.

All trends are the result of human activity, and as such, they can be shaped by human decisions and policy choices. By making the right choices today, without further delay, it is not too late to shape the major trends of…

Economic Analysis and Policy

Against the backdrop of a devastating pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by 3.2 per cent this year, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 report.

The global economy is expected to lose nearly $8.5 trillion in output over the next two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years.  The sharp economic contraction, which marks the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, comes on top of anaemic economic forecasts of only 2.1 percent at the start of the year.

The report estimates that GDP growth in developed economies is…

Economic Analysis and Policy

Impacted by prolonged trade disputes, the global economy suffered its lowest growth in a decade, slipping to 2.3 per cent in 2019. The world, however, could see a slight uptick in economic activity in 2020 if risks are kept at bay, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2020.

The Report states that growth of 2.5 per cent in 2020 is possible, but a flareup of trade tensions, financial turmoil, or an escalation of geopolitical tensions could derail a recovery. In a downside scenario, global growth would slow to just 1.8 per cent this year. A prolonged weakness in global economic activity may cause significant setbacks for sustainable…

Economic Analysis and Policy

The global economy is experiencing a broad-based growth slowdown amid unresolved trade tensions, high international policy uncertainty, and softening business confidence, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2019 report.

The forecast for weaker global growth casts a shadow over efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which has set universal goals for eliminating poverty, promoting prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Weaker economic growth puts at risk essential investments in areas such as education, health, climate change adaptation and sustainable infrastructure.

Economic Analysis and Policy

The global economy will continue to grow at a steady pace of around 3 per cent in 2019 and 2020 amid signs that global growth has peaked. However, a worrisome combination of development challenges could further undermine growth, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2019.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres cautioned “While global economic indicators remain largely favourable, they do not tell the whole story.” He said the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 “raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges.”

Global growth…

Economic Analysis and Policy

New frontier technologies — everything from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, artificial intelligence and electric vehicles — hold immense potential to improve people’s lives and significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change. But without appropriate policies, they can also drive greater inequality and increase social dislocations.

The World Economic and Social Survey 2018 produced by UN DESA found that renewable energy technologies and efficient energy storage systems are already enhancing environmental sustainability, allowing countries to “leapfrog” over existing technological solutions. New…

Economic Analysis and Policy

Growth in the world economy is surpassing expectations and global GDP is now expected to expand by more than three per cent this year and in 2019, reflecting strong growth in developed countries and broadly favourable investment conditions. But rising trade tensions, heightened uncertainty over monetary policy, increasing debt levels and greater geopolitical tensions can potentially thwart progress, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2018.

According to the report, world economic growth is now forecast to reach 3.2 per cent both in 2018 and 2019, an upward revision by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point, respectively. This revised…