Slow global economic recovery predicted after last year's sharp downturn - UN report

26 June 2002

The global economy is likely to see a slow recovery following last year's sharp downturn, with growth uneven in different countries across the world, according to a new report released today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The World Economy in 2002 predicts that developing countries will benefit only gradually from the revival, with a 2003 growth rate of 3.25 per cent - well below the average for the past decade. In Africa, economic growth of around 3 per cent this year will barely exceed population increases.

Factors that led to the recent steep slowdown, when global growth decelerated from 4 per cent in 2000 to 1.3 per cent in 2001, could continue to dampen expansion, according to the report, which cites the example of the collapse in the information and communications technology (ICT) market. "Another boom in the ICT sector is unlikely to serve as the driving force for recovery," the report cautions.

The problems posed by the ICT bust were compounded by the shock of the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States, causing a sharp slowdown in that country's economy which was quickly transmitted to the rest of the world, according to the report. US recovery in 2002 is expected to be modest and the stimulus it provides to the rest of the world, through imports, will be correspondingly limited.

Introducing the report at a press briefing in New York, a senior UN official said the effects of the slowdown, which originated in the developed world, would be magnified in poorer States. "The developing countries have really taken a big hit," said Ian C. Kinniburgh, Director of Development Policy Analysis Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

In 2001, those States had lost an aggregate of some 3 percentage points in growth, he noted, predicting that they would also face a slow turnaround this year and next "This, I think we can agree, is rather an inauspicious start to the new millennium as far as they are concerned."

 

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