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World Economic Situtation and Prospects 2008   

World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008


This work is published for and on behalf of the United Nations.

Paper  Back Book   :   Pages : 192
2008  Edition         :   ISBN 978-81-7188-692-0
Price : Rs. 595.00  
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According to WESP 2008, the world economy is facing serious challenges in sustaining the strong pace of economic growth seen over the past few years. While the baseline forecast is for world economic growth to moderate somewhat in 2008, the risks associated with the bursting of the housing bubble in the United States, the related unfolding credit crisis, the decline of the dollar, large global imbalances and high oil prices are all pointing to the downside. The report draws some lessons from the global financial turmoil of 2007, which was triggered by the meltdown of sub-prime mortgages in the United States, and points out that the various measures adopted by central banks of the major economies did not address the root causes of the turmoil: the huge global imbalances. In an alternative scenario, which takes into account the possibility of a sharper-than-expected decline in house prices in the United States and a hard landing of the US dollar, the United States economy would fall into a recession, while global growth would be significantly lower than the baseline. In addition to trends in international trade and capital flows, WESP 2008 also covers the latest progress and policy issues related to international trade negotiations and reform of the international financial system.


Executive Summary


Explanatory notes


Global outlook

Macroeconomic prospects for the world economy

World economic growth in 2007 and 2008

Challenges facing developing countries in the international economic environment

Employment growth

Uncertainties and downside risks for the global outlook

A deeper and longer housing contraction in the United States

A hard landing of the dollar?

Policy challenges

Macroeconomic policy stance

Policies to prevent a disorderly unwinding of global imbalances     

Appendix 1: Evaluation of the performance of the United Nations forecasting of the world economy 

Appendix 2: Decoupling from the United States?



International trade

Trade flows

Merchandise trade: trade growth continues to grow twice as fast as output growth

Trade in services: prospects for developing countries

World primary commodity markets and prices

Non-oil commodities

The oil market

Terms of trade for developing countries and economies in transition

Trade policy developments and trends: multilateralism at the crossroads

Requisites for Doha to be a development Round

Prospects for the Doha Round



Financial flows to developing and transition economies

Net transfers from poor to rich countries

Private capital flows

Private capital flows to developing countries

Trends in foreign direct investment

International financial cooperation

Official development assistance

Aid effectiveness

Innovative forms of development financing

Debt relief

Strengthening the international financial architecture

Further policy challenges posed by the recent crisis in credit markets

Multilateral surveillance

Governance reform at the Bretton Woods institutions



Regional developments and outlook

Developed market economies

North America: a protracted slowdown in the United States

Developed Asia and the Pacific: Japan emerging from deflation?

Western Europe: moderation in 2008

The new European Union member States: strong economic growth, increasing risks

Economies in transition: robust but moderating growth in 2008

South-eastern Europe: vibrant growth will continue

The Commonwealth of Independent States: robust growth, rising inflationary pressures

Developing economies

Africa: economic performance continues to improve

East Asia: robust growth amidst external uncertainties

South Asia: strong growth in an environment of political unease

Western Asia: resurgent oil prices sustain economic growth

Latin America and the Caribbean: a moderate slowdown in 2008



Statistical tables

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