World Bank: Global Economic Growth Will Accelerate in 2014

Global economic growth rate expected to speed from 2.4 percent to 3.2 percent in 2014.

Money traders work under a screen indicating update of U.S. dollars against yen at a foreign exchange brokerage on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Tokyo.
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The global recovery is set to accelerate further this year, with a sharp improvement among the world's richest economies, according to the World Bank. Global economic growth is expected to speed from a 2.4 percent rate in 2013 to 3.2 percent in 2014, according to a new report from the bank released late Tuesday.

In the richest countries, growth is expected to jump by nearly 70 percent, from 1.3 percent to 2.2 percent. Meanwhile, developing countries' GDP growth will accelerate from a 4.8 to a 5.3 percent growth rate.

The strength among wealthier countries such as the U.S., Japan and nations in the Euro Area, should act as a bolster to developing countries in places like sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia, said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

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"The performance of advanced economies is gaining momentum, and this should support stronger growth in developing countries in the months ahead," he said in a statement.

Accelerating growth among both advanced and developing nations reflects promising economic trends. In advanced economies, "the drag on growth from fiscal consolidation and policy uncertainty will ease" in 2014, the bank said in its forecast. Meanwhile, growth among developing countries, while slower than in the mid-2000s, nevertheless appears more sustainable than that "turbo-charged pre-crisis growth," the bank added.

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The World Bank predicts that U.S. growth will improve substantially, from 1.8 percent in 2013 to 2.8 percent in 2014. The Euro area is likewise set for a marked improvement, with growth shifting from -0.4 percent in 2013 to 1.1 percent in 2014.

Chinese growth, meanwhile, is expected to hold steady at a strong 7.7 percent, and India's growth will speed from a 4.8 to a 6.2 percent rate.

Though there are promising signs worldwide, the bank in its report warned that plenty of risks remain. For example, while Europe is recovering, per capita incomes in some EU countries are still declining, which could threaten further growth.

Likewise, the Federal Reserve's tapering of monthly asset purchases, known as quantitative easing, in the U.S. could threaten developing economies worldwide.

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"To date, the gradual withdrawal of quantitative easing has gone smoothly. However, if interest rates rise too rapidly, capital flows to developing countries could fall by 50 percent or more for several months – potentially provoking a crisis in some of the more vulnerable economies," said Andrew Burns, the report's lead author.

Despite some destabilizing prospects, the bank still maintains a positive outlook. Growth among developing countries, as well as the broader global economy, is likewise projected to continue a steady acceleration through 2016, the bank concludes, while in richer countries growth will flatten out at 2.4 percent in 2015 and 2016.

 

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