Emerging markets to drive global growth in 2018 – World Bank

The global economy is set to expand by
3.1 per cent in 2018, slightly up from three per cent last year.

This will mark the first year since the 2008 Great Recession that it will
near or achieve full growth potential, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

In an update of its twice-yearly economic report, the World Bank however
warned that the economic upswing this year was temporary unless governments
adopted policies that would focus on increasing workforce participation.

The pace of world growth was expected to moderate to three percent in 2019
and 2.9 per cent in 2020, it said.

Most of the growth will be driven by emerging economies, in particular
commodity exporters, with growth rates for the group as a whole rising to
around 4.5 per cent in 2018 and an average of 4.7 per cent in 2019 and 2020,
the Bank said.

By contrast, growth in developed economies is projected to slow to 2.2 per
cent in 2018, from 2.3 per cent last year, as central banks gradually remove
their post-crisis accommodation and investment levels off.

“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 Bank said in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects.

The fastest-growing region in the world, according to the World Bank, is
East Asia and the Pacific with China’s economy expected to grow at a 6.4 per
cent clip this year before slowing to 6.3 per cent next year.

In India, GDP growth is expected to reach 7.3 per cent in 2018 before
strengthening slightly in 2019/2020 to 7.5 per cent, the World Bank projected.

In poorer countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia,
economic growth is expected to expand to 5.4 per cent in 2018 as commodity
prices firm but not as much as previously expected.

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to reach 3.2 per cent this year and
3.5 per cent in 2019, the Bank said.

Ghana is the fastest-growing economy in Africa with gross domestic product
growth seen reaching 8.3 per cent in 2018, followed by Ethiopia at
8.2 per cent.

In Latin America, the strongest growth is expected to come from Panama at a
clip of 5.6 per cent, while Venezuela’s economy is expected to contract 4.2 per
cent in 2018.

The Bank projected that global oil prices would average $58 a barrel in
2018, edging up to $59 per barrel in 2019.

Source: The Star Kenya