World Bank: Recession a looming threat for global economy

Jan 10, 2023, 7:32 AM | Updated: Jan 11, 2023, 4:31 am
FILE - Container cranes at a port in New Jersey appear behind the Statue of Liberty, Sunday, Nov. 2...

FILE - Container cranes at a port in New Jersey appear behind the Statue of Liberty, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in New York. The global economy will come "perilously close" to a recession this year, led by weaker growth in all the world's top economies — the United States, Europe and China — the World Bank warned Tuesday.(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economy will come “perilously close” to a recession this year, led by weaker growth in all the world’s top economies — the United States, Europe and China — the World Bank warned on Tuesday.

In an annual report, the World Bank, which lends money to poorer countries for development projects, said it had slashed its forecast for global growth this year by nearly half, to just 1.7%, from its previous projection of 3%. If that forecast proves accurate, it would be the third-weakest annual expansion in three decades, behind only the deep recessions that resulted from the 2008 global financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Though the United States might avoid a recession this year — the World Bank predicts the U.S. economy will eke out growth of 0.5% — global weakness will likely pose another headwind for America’s businesses and consumers, on top of high prices and more expensive borrowing rates. The United States also remains vulnerable to further supply chain disruptions if COVID-19 keeps surging or Russia’s war in Ukraine worsens.

And Europe, long a major exporter to China, will likely suffer from a weaker Chinese economy.

The World Bank report also noted that rising interest rates in developed economies like the United States and Europe will attract investment capital from poorer countries, thereby depriving them of crucial domestic investment. At the same time, the report said, those high interest rates will slow growth in developed countries at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has kept world food prices high.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added major new costs,” World Bank President David Malpass said on a call with reporters. “The outlook is particularly devastating for many of the poorest economies where poverty reduction is already ground to a halt and access to electricity, fertilizer, food and capital is likely to remain limited for a prolonged period.”

The impact of a global downturn would fall particularly hard on poorer countries in such areas as Saharan Africa, which is home to 60% of the world’s poor. The World Bank predicts per capita income will grow just 1.2% in 2023 and 2024, which is such a tepid pace that poverty rates could rise.

“Weakness in growth and business investment will compound the already devastating reversals in education, health, poverty and infrastructure and the increasing demands from climate change,” Malpass said. “Addressing the scale of these challenges will require significantly more resources for development and global public goods.”

Along with seeking new financing so it can lend more to poorer countries, Malpass said, the World Bank is, among other things, seeking to improve its lending terms that would increase debt transparency, “especially for the rising share of poor countries that are at high risk of debt distress.”

The report follows a similarly gloomy forecast a week earlier from Kristina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund, the global lending agency. Georgieva estimated on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that one-third of the world will fall into recession this year.

“For most of the world economy, this is going to be a tough year, tougher than the year we leave behind,” Georgieva said. “Why? Because the three big economies — U.S., EU, China — are all slowing down simultaneously.”

The World Bank projects that the European Union’s economy won’t grow at all next year after having expanded 3.3% in 2022. It foresees China growing 4.3%, nearly a percentage point lower than it had previously forecast and about half the pace that Beijing posted in 2021.

The bank expects developing countries to fare better, growing 3.4% this year, the same as in 2022, though still only about half the pace of 2021. It forecasts Brazil’s growth slowing to 0.8% in 2023, down from 3% last year. In Pakistan, it expects the economy to expand just 2% this year, one-third of last year’s pace.

Other economists have also issued bleak outlooks, though most of them not quite as dire. Economists at JPMorgan are predicting slow growth this year for advanced economies and the world as a whole, but they don’t expect a global recession. Last month, the bank predicted that slowing inflation will bolster consumers’ ability to spend and power growth in the United States and elsewhere.

“The global expansion will turn into 2023 bent but not broken,” the JPMorgan report said.

___

Associated Press reporter Fatima Hussein contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Sri Lankan government soldiers march carrying national flags during the 75th Independence Day cerem...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka marks independence anniversary amid economic woes

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka marked its 75th independence anniversary on Saturday as a bankrupt nation, with many citizens angry, anxious and in no mood to celebrate. Many Buddhists and Christian clergy had announced a boycott of the celebration in the capital, while activists and others expressed anger at what they see as […]
1 day ago
FILE - President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Cong...
Associated Press

Biden makes progress on ‘unity agenda’ outlined in 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year ago, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to push top Democratic priorities that were sure to face a battle in the narrowly divided Congress but he also laid out a four-pronged “unity agenda” that would be an easier sell. Biden’s unity goals would be hard […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New California oil well ban put on hold for voters to decide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s new law banning new oil and gas wells near homes, schools and other community sites has been put on hold until after voters decide next year whether to throw it out, officials announced Friday. Opponents of Senate Bill 1137 gathered more than 623,000 valid voter signatures to put a referendum […]
1 day ago
FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an ina...
Associated Press

Florida lawmakers to meet next week on Disney, immigration

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida lawmakers will meet next week to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World’s self-governing district and debate proposals on immigration and election crimes, as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to leverage national political fissures ahead of an expected White House run. Republican leaders of the Legislature, in coordination with […]
1 day ago
FILE - Johnny Thai, 11, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a pediatric vaccine clinic for chil...
Associated Press

California won’t require COVID vaccine to attend schools

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Children in California won’t have to get the coronavirus vaccine to attend schools, state public health officials confirmed Friday, ending one of the last major restrictions of the pandemic in the nation’s most populous state. Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the policy in 2021, saying it would eventually apply to all […]
1 day ago
Part of the 988helpline.org website is photographed Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A cyberattack caused a ne...
Associated Press

Feds say cyberattack caused suicide helpline’s outage

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cyberattack caused a nearly daylong outage of the nation’s new 988 mental health helpline late last year, federal officials told The Associated Press Friday. Lawmakers are now calling for the federal agency that oversees the program to prevent future attacks. “On December 1, the voice calling functionality of the 988 Lifeline […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
World Bank: Recession a looming threat for global economy