As of mid-February, consensus forecasts (via Bloomberg) are pegging world real output growth for 2009 at +0.6%, very close to the +0.5% growth rate the IMF changed their forecast to just a few weeks ago. TD Economics has for some time been more pessimistic and has stuck with our +0.5% forecast for global growth since last October.

However, as the figures roll in around the world for the fourth quarter of 2008, it appears that even the TD Economics forecast is too high. World output appears heading towards an outright contraction this year of at least -0.5%. This would be the first contraction in the post-war period. And, as we discuss below, even this may yet need to be revised lower.