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    2011 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank1818 H Street NWWashington DC 20433Telephone: 202-473-1000Internet: www.worldbank.orgE-mail: feedback@worldbank.orgAll rights reserved1 2 3 4 13 12 11 10

    This volume is a product of the staff of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development /The World Bank. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this volume do not neces-sarily reflect the views of the Executive Directors of The World Bank or the governments they repre-sent. The World Bank does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this work. The boundaries,colors, denominations, and other information shown on any map in this work do not imply any judgmenton the part of The World Bank concerning the legal status of any territory or the endorsement or accep-tance of such boundaries.

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    Global Economic Prospects January 2011

    Economic activity in most developingcountries has, or is close to having,recovered. Supported by a resurgence ininternational and domestic financial flows andhigher commodity prices, most of the sparecapacity in developing countries that was createdby the crisis has been reabsorbed, anddeveloping countries have regained trend growth

    rates close to those observed in the pre-crisisperiod.

    In contrast, the recovery in many high-income countries (and several economies indeveloping Europe and Central Asia) has notbeen strong enough to make major inroadsinto high unemployment and spare capacity.Prospects in these economies, many of whichwere at the center of the financial boom andbust, continue to be weighed down by banking-sector restructuring, high consumer debt and aright-sizing of economic sectors that grew

    unsustainably large during the boom period.

    The robust recovery in developing countries isall the more remarkable because it mainlyreflects an expansion of their internalmarkets. Developing countries are not justleading the recovery. Increasingly they are animportant source of stability, with many of therisks to global growth centered in high-incomecountries and reflecting as yet unresolvedimbalances generated by the boom period.

    Very low policy-induced interest rates in high

    -income countries plus better growthprospects in developing countries prompted astrong recovery in capital flows, mainly tomiddle-income countries. Overall net privatecapital flows to developing countries expanded44 percent in 2010, but remain well belowrecord 2007 levels. For most countries, theincrease in flows was beneficial, helping tofinance growth enhancing investment.

    Capital inflows into some middle-incomecountries have placed undue and potentiallydamaging upward pressure on currencies.Many of these flows are short-lived, volatile andsometimes speculative in nature. Left unchecked,such flows can lead to abrupt real appreciationsand depreciations that are out of line withunderlying fundamentals, and can do lasting

    damage to economies. The biggest increaseswere in short-term debt flows, equities andbonds, notably corporate bonds. Long-term banklending also posted large percentage increases,but from a very low base. Foreign directinvestment (FDI) rose a relatively modest 16percent given earlier large declines.

    Low-income countries experienced modestdeclines in capital flows in 2009 and modestincreases in 2010, partly reflecting theirreliance on relatively stable FDI. However,many low-income countries did benefit from

    stronger remittance inflows, a recovery intourism and higher commodity prices. South-South flows are increasingly important for low-income countries.

    Global growth is expected to weakensomewhat in 2011, before picking up in 2012(Table 1). Real GDP is estimated to haveexpanded by 3.9 percent in 2010, once again ledby strong domestic demand in developingcountries. Restructuring and right-sizing in thebanking and construction sectors, combined withnecessary fiscal and household consolidation,

    will continue to drag on growth in many high-income economies and developing Europe andCentral Asian countries. At the same time,growth is projected to slow in other developingcountries due to emerging capacity constraints.Overall global GDP is expected to grow 3.3percent in 2011, before picking up to 3.6 percentin 2012 as the drag on activity from restructuringin high-income countries eases somewhat.

    Global Economic Prospects January 2011:

    Navigating strong currents

    Overview & main messages

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    Global Economic Prospects January 2011

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    Strong growth of domestic demand indeveloping-country will continue to lead theworld economy. Developing countries domesticdemand is playing a major role in the recovery,representing 46 percent of global growth in2010. GDP in low- and middle-income

    countries expanded 7 percent during 2010 (5.2percent excluding India and China) and isprojected to increase 6.0 and 6.1 percent in 2011and 2012. As such it will continue to outstripgrowth in the high-income countries (2.8, 2.4and 2.7 percent in 2010, 2011 and 2012).

    Serious tensions and pitfalls persist in theglobal economy, which in the short-run couldde-rail the recovery to differing degrees.These include the possibility that:

    market concerns over debt sustainability in

    Europe escalate; continued very low interest rates in high-

    income countries once again prompt largeand volatile flows of capital towarddeveloping countries that contribute todestabilizing movements in exchange rates,commodity prices, and asset-prices.

    although real food prices in most developingcountries have not increased as much asthose measured in U.S. dollars, they haverisen sharply in some poor countries; and ifinternational prices continue to rise,affordability issues and poverty impactscould intensify.

    Longer-term risks center around thepossibility that policy in the economies mostdirectly hit by the crisis fail to shift focusfrom short-term crisis management towardmeasures that address the underlying (anddifficult to resolve) structural issues thatcontributed to the crisis in the first place. These include:

    putting in place credible plans for restoringfiscal sustainability;

    placing more emphasis on fiscal measuresthat facilitate the re-employment ofdisplaced workers; and, in many countries,programs to improve longer-termcompetitiveness.

    completing the re-regulation of the financialsector;

    pursuing policies that permit exchange ratesto gradually adjust in-line with relativefundamentals; and,

    reducing the volatility of major reservecurrencies in order to sustain confidence inthem as stores of value and facilitators of

    trade.

    The remainder of this report is organized asfollows. The next section discusses recentdevelopments in global production, trade, andfinancial markets, and presents updates of theWorld Banks forecast for the global economyand developing countries. It is followed by adiscussion of the serious short- and longer-termchallenges facing the global economy. This isfollowed by a short section of concludingremarks.

    Recent economic developments and

    outlook

    The global economy is transitioning from arapid, bounce-back phase of recovery, toward aslower, more sustainably paced phase. Goingforward, the recovery will be characterized byclose to potential growth rates among thosecountries that were least directly involved in theexcesses of the pre-crisis boom period.

    Among those that were more closely implicated,including many high-income economies anddeveloping Europe and Central Asia countries,aggregate activity will continue to be burdenedby the restructuring required to undo theexcesses of the boom period. As a result,unemployment is expected to decline onlyslowly.

    The rebound in industrial activity

    The rebound phase of the recovery came to anend toward the middle of 2010, when globalindustrial production and trade regained their pre-crisis levels of activity (dated here as August2008 the month prior to the collapse ofLehmans and the onset of the acute phase of thecrisis1). Almost at the same time, the pace of theexpansion slowed abruptly, with 3-monthindustrial production and global exports

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    Global Economic Prospects January 2011

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    annualized growth rates slowing from more than10 and 20 percent respectively in early 2010 to

    near zero by September and only began tostrengthen again in October (Figure 1).

    Each developing region experienced the crisisdifferently. Industrial production in East andSouth Asia hardly declined at all, but growthrates did slow well below the pre-crisis trend of