The global economy may be headed for years of weak growth and rising prices, a toxic combination that will test the stability of dozens of countries still struggling to rebound from the pandemic, the World Bank warned Tuesday.
Not since the 1970s — when twin oil shocks sapped growth and lifted prices, giving rise to the malady known as “stagflation” — has the global economy faced such a challenge.
The bank slashed its annual global growth forecast to 2.9 percent from January’s 4.1 percent and said that “subdued growth will likely persist throughout the decade because of weak investment in most of the world.”
Fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has aggravated the global slowdown by driving up prices for a range of commodities, fueling inflation. Global growth this year will be roughly half of last year’s annualized rate and is expected to show little improvement in 2023 and 2024.
This will be the sharpest slump after an initial post-recession rebound that the global economy has suffered in more than 80 years, the bank said. And the situation could get even worse if the Ukraine war fractures global trade and financial networks or soaring food prices spark social unrest in importing countries.