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World economy likely to grow 2.5% in 2020: UN report

In a downside scenario, the world economic growth could slow to just 1.8 percent this year.

A prolonged weakness in the world economic activity “may cause significant setbacks of sustainable development,” including the goals to eradicate poverty and create decent jobs for all.

The global economic growth slipped to 2.3 percent in 2019, due to uncertainties, said the report.

“There is insufficient demand in this world and too much debt. We can only deal with these problems through international action, through policy coordination. This is why multilateralism is actually so important from our point of view. [It is] the best way of dealing with the weaknesses and instabilities of the global economy,” said Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Globalization and Development Strategies Division in United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The GDP growth in the United States is forecast at 1.7 percent in 2020, while that of the European Union will rise from 1.4 percent in 2019 to 1.6 percent in 2020.

Although the world economy is facing pressure of slowdown, East Asia remains the world fastest growing region. China’s GDP growth in 2020 is projected to be 6.0 percent, supported by accommodative monetary and fiscal policies. 

“We haven’t changed our forecast for China very much. It remains around 6 percent for this year. And we would hope that it does that in a way that retains a reasonably kind of robust growth performance and keeps its relationships, particularly with other developing countries,” Kozul-Wright said.

The World Economic Situation and Prospects is an annual UN flagship publication on the state of the world economy, viewed through the lens of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is a joint product of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the five UN regional commissions.

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