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World Bank gives gloomy forecast for global economy

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by Kay Mitchell
”World

The World Bank is providing the gloomiest forecast yet for the global economy predicting that it will shrink this year for the first time since the Second World War.

The forecast is part of a report which has been prepared for next week’s meeting of finance ministers from the 20 industrialised and large developing countries.

According to the World Bank by the middle of this year, industrial output could be as much as 15% lower than last year, while global trade may record the largest fall since the 1930s.

Meanwhile, developing countries face a financing shortfall of up to $700 billion (£497 billion) for the current year, as private sector creditors shun emerging markets.

Poorer countries such as Latin America, Central Europe, Asia and Africa were the innocent bystanders in this crisis, yet they have no choice but to bear its harsh consequences,” according to World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

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News posted: March 9, 2009

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