KHALEEJ TIMES, Thursday, Jan 11, 2018 | Rabi Al Thani 23,1439
UAE leads growth path
The World Bank predicted that the global economy would grow 3.1 per cent this
year - best showing in seven years - as the UAE is poised to rebound with a 3.1
per cent upswing in 2018.
The pace of world growth was expected to moderate to three per cent in 2019 and
2.9 per cent in 2020, the Washington-based bank said in its latest forecast,
which it described as a clarion call for public action to prevent growth from
The bank affirmed that the outlook for the global economy is better than
expected - rather than worse - with all regions seeing improved growth.
"The global economy is set to expand by 3.1 per cent in 2018, slightly up from
three per cent last year and marking the first year since the 2008 Great
Recession that it will near or achieve full growth potential."
"A broad-based cyclical global recovery is underway, aided by a rebound in
investment and trade, against the backdrop of benign financing conditions,
generally accommodative policies, improved confidence, and the dissipating
impact of the earlier commodity price collapse. Global growth is expected to be
sustained over the next couple of years - and even accelerate somewhat in
emerging market and developing economies thanks to a rebound in commodity
exporters," the bank said.
The 189-nation lending organisation cautioned about some risks it sees to the
While the UAE will be growing at the fastest pace among the GCC countries, in
the Middle East and North Africa, the growth is forecast to pick up over the
medium term, as reforms across the region gain momentum and as fiscal
adjustments ease amid a projected rise in oil prices, the bank said.
In Mena, improved competitiveness and external conditions are expected to
further support growth in oil importers. Key risks to the regional outlook are
tilted to the downside, including continued geopolitical conflicts and weakness
in oil prices," the bank said.
The forecast said China, the world's second-largest economy, would grow 6.4 per
cent this year. And it foresees growth of 2.1 per cent in the eurozone.
In India, GDP growth is expected to reach 7.3 per cent in 2018 before
strengthening slightly in 2019-20 to 7.5 per cent, the World Bank projected.
The United States saw a smaller upgrade to 2.3 per cent last year and 2.2 per
cent this year, while Japan rebounded to 1.7 per cent in 2017 and an expected
1.3 percent this year.
The fastest-growing region in the world is East Asia and the Pacific, according
to the report.
In poorer countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, economic
growth is expected to expand to 5.4 per cent in 2018 as commodity prices firm
but not as much as previously expected.
Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to reach 3.2 per cent this year and 3.5
per cent in 2019, the bank said.
World Bank president Jim Yong Kim cautioned against complacency. He urged
policymakers to make needed investments in such areas as education and
infrastructure as a way to lift lagging worker productivity and increase future
"If policymakers around the world focus on these key investments, they can
increase their countries' productivity, boost workforce participation and move
closer to the goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared productivity,"
In an update of its twice-yearly economic report, the World Bank however warned
that the economic upswing this year was temporary unless governments adopted
policies that would focus on increasing workforce participation.
However, the bank warns that countries must make investments to improve their
growth prospects, and the time to do that is before the next economic crisis
hits, as it inevitably will.
World Bank economist Ayhan Kose said increasing the ability of countries to grow
faster is "the single most important issue for the global economy. The big story
is a good story. Global growth will be stronger than what we expected."