World Bank: Global Economic Growth to Slow in 2014 After Cold US Winter and Political and Financial Unrest Worldwide

Brazil Airport_Manaus
A laborer works at Manaus airport in Manaus, Brazil. The World Bank on Tuesday lowered its economic growth outlook for Brazil and other economies. Reuters/Bruno Kelly

Global economic growth is expected to dip this year, following the fiercely cold winter that plagued the United States and turbulence in Ukraine and the world’s financial markets.

The World Bank on Tuesday said it reduced its global growth forecast to 2.8 percent this year, down from a January projection of 3.2 percent, Bloomberg News reported.

The U.S. forecast was cut to 2.1 percent from 2.8 percent, and outlooks for Brazil, Russia, India and China also fell -- a sign that emerging economies aren’t moving fast enough or investing sufficiently in domestic structural reforms, which are needed to accelerate economic expansion, according to the Washington-based institution. It recommended smaller budget deficits, higher interest rates and productivity-boosting measures to stave off future financial unrest, Bloomberg said.

The growth setbacks, however, might be short-lived. The 2015 projection for global economic growth held steady at 3.4 percent, Bloomberg noted, and growth is expected to regain speed this year despite earlier weaknesses, the World Bank said in its Global Economic Prospects report.

"The financial health of economies has improved. ... But we are not totally out of the woods yet," Kaushik Basu, the lender's chief economist, said. "A gradual tightening of fiscal policy and structural reforms are desirable to restore fiscal space depleted by the 2008 financial crisis. In brief, now is the time to prepare for the next crisis."

 

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