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Global economy to edge up to 3.1 percent in 2018: WB

Global economy to edge up to 3.1 percent in 2018: WB

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank (WB) has predicted global economic growth to edge up to 3.1 percent in 2018 after a much stronger-than-expected in 2017, as the recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade continues, and as commodity-exporting developing economies benefit from firming commodity prices.

However, this is largely seen as a short-term upswing. Over the longer term, slowing potential growth—a measure of how fast an economy can expand when labor and capital are fully employed—puts at risk gains in improving living standards and reducing poverty around the world, the World Bank warns in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects.

Growth in advanced economies is expected to moderate slightly to 2.2 percent in 2018, as central banks gradually remove their post-crisis accommodation and as an upturn in investment levels off.

Growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole is projected to strengthen to 4.5 percent in 2018, as activity in commodity exporters continues to recover.

“The broad-based recovery in global growth is encouraging, but this is no time for complacency,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said.

“This is a great opportunity to invest in human and physical capital. If policy makers around the world focus on these key investments, they can increase their countries’ productivity, boost workforce participation, and move closer to the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity,” Kim added.

According to the report, 2018 is on track to be the first year since the financial crisis that the global economy would be operating at or near full capacity.

With slack in the economy expected to dissipate, policymakers would need to look beyond monetary and fiscal policy tools to stimulate short-term growth and consider initiatives more likely to boost long-term potential.

The slowdown in potential growth is the result of years of softening productivity growth, weak investment, and the aging of the global labor force.

The deceleration is widespread, affecting economies that account for more than 65 percent of global GDP.

Without efforts to revitalize potential growth, the decline may extend into the next decade, and could slow average global growth by a quarter percentage point and average growth in emerging market and developing economies by half a percentage point over that period.