Amidst high trade tensions and policy uncertainty, UN cuts economic growth forecast

World Bank/Chhor Sokunthea A farmer harvests mung beans in Cambodia’s northern province. After harvest season, farmers like her move from the lowlands to the highlands to get better value for their crops.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Against a backdrop of unresolved trade tensions, high international policy uncertainty and softening business confidence, the UN on Tuesday announced a broad-based slowdown in the global economy and cut its growth predictions.

The data comes from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in its mid-year World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report, which finds that all major developed economies, and most developing regions, have weakened prospects for growth.

At the launch of its main annual report in January, UN economists warned of “risks on the horizon.” Five months on, with trade disputes and tariff increases, those fears have been borne out, and the forecasts contained in the January report have now been revised downwards: growth for 2019 is now predicted to be a moderate 2.7 per cent, down markedly from 3.4 per cent in 2018.

DESA warns, however, that if trade tensions escalate further, the effects of climate change accelerate, or there is a sudden deterioration in financial conditions, the slowdown could be sharper, or more prolonged.

Slowdown threatens UN agenda to end poverty

The predicted slowdown spells bad news for efforts to implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which contains a set of targets to end extreme poverty and promote prosperity, whilst protecting the environment.

A weaker global economy puts essential investments in areas such as education, health and climate action at risk. Developing countries are likely to be hit hard, particularly those whose economies rely heavily on markets likely to be affected by any additional tariffs and subsequent retaliatory measures.

The report notes that, although poverty is concentrated in rural areas, the rapidly growing rate of population movements from the countryside to cities, must be carefully managed. This is particularly relevant for Africa and South Asia, the two regions with the highest number of people in poverty, which are expected to also experience the most rapid pace of urbanization in the next two decades.

Calling for more comprehensive and better-targeted policies to tackle the slump, Elliot Harris, UN Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, said in a statement “it is increasingly clear that policies to promote sustainable development will need to look beyond GDP growth and identify new and more robust measures of economic performance that appropriately reflect the costs of inequality, insecurity and climate change.”

With the climate emergency continuing to cause more frequent and intense natural disasters, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable countries, the report calls for a multilateral approach to global climate policy, including an explicit call for carbon pricing, which would force the private sector and governments to include the environmental costs of consumption and production in their economic decision-making process.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The three biggest challenges for India’s future

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

EP President at the European Youth Event: “Your ideas are key in shaping EU’s future”

Greenhouse gas levels in atmosphere break another record, UN report shows

Shifting Tides: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for the G-20

Tunisia wants to change inheritance rules to boost gender equality

Israel @ MWC14: Israel The Start App Nation

European Youth Forum celebrates 20 years of fighting for youth rights

ITU Telecom World 2018 takes place in Durban, South Africa

Scientists can lead the fight against fake news

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

LETTER FROM AFGHANISTAN: Elections serve up food for thought, for Afghan youth

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

GSMA Reveals Shortlist For 2019 Asia Mobile Awards

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for continued action to eradicate trafficking in human beings

India is a latecomer to AI. Here’s how it plans to catch up

What people want – ignore at your peril

COP24 negotiations: Why reaching agreement on climate action is so complex

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

Wide-ranging reforms needed to ensure Italy’s economic recovery

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Women in Iceland have walked out of work to dispute the gender pay gap

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Venezuela must guarantee judicial impartiality – UN human rights expert

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

China-EU Special Report: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang endorses China’s big investment on Juncker’s plan at 10th China-EU Business Summit

Idlib deal could save three million ‘from catastrophe’ says UN chief, as militants are urged to lay down arms

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

This is how Middle Eastern retailers can keep up with e-commerce

‘Global sisterhood’ tells perpetrators ‘time is up’ for pandemic of violence

“We need to accelerate our negotiation on the China-EU Investment Treaty”, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highlights from the 21st EU-China summit in Brussels

These are the next big products in consumer technology

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Seize the opportunities of digital technology to improve well-being but also address the risks

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

3 things the G20 can do to save the World Trade Organization

Why a cash-free future might not be as close as you think

35th ACP-EU Assembly: migration and demographics will dominate the debate

Retirees will outlive their savings by a decade

Halting spread of drug resistance from animals to humans: deal with Council

Where does our food come from? Here’s why we need to know

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

Finland has giant supermarkets that only stock second-hand goods

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

The European Union and the United States reach an agreement on imports of hormone-free beef

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s