World Bank cuts 2019 forecast for global economic growth

Euro zone growth expected to slow to 1.6%

The World Bank is concerned about “intensifying trade tensions’. Photograph: iStock

The World Bank is concerned about “intensifying trade tensions’. Photograph: iStock

 

The World Bank said global economic growth would slow to 2.9 per cent this year from a downwardly revised 3 per cent in 2018, citing “rising downside risks to the outlook”.

In its semi-annual “global economic prospects” report, the World Bank said: “International trade and manufacturing activity have softened, trade tensions remain elevated, and some large emerging markets have experienced substantial financial market pressures”.

Growth in the US was expected to slow to 2.5 per cent this year, from 2.9 per cent last year, while in China output was forecast to increase at a rate of 6.2 per cent this year, from 6.5 per cent in 2018. Euro zone growth was forecast to slow to 1.6 per cent this year from 1.9 per cent last year.

‘Further brake’

As it downgraded its forecasts, the World Bank warned that “a number of developments” could act as a “further brake” on economic activity. These range from a “sharper tightening of borrowing costs” to “past increases in private and public debt” to “intensifying trade tensions” which could “disrupt globally interconnected value chains”. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019