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Outbreaks, bottlenecks expected to slow global growth in '22

by The Associated Press | January 12, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
FILE - This April 5, 2021 file photo shows the World Bank building in Washington. The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy. It blames continuing outbreaks of COVID-19, a reduction in government economic support and ongoing bottlenecks in global supply chains. The 189-country, anti-poverty agency forecasts worldwide economic growth of 4.1% this year. That's down from the 4.3% growth it was forecasting last June. In its Global Economic Prospects report out Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 the World Bank projects that the U.S. economy will grow 3.7% this year, down from 5.6% in 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The World Bank is downgrading its outlook for the global economy, blaming continuing outbreaks of COVID-19, a reduction in government economic support and ongoing bottlenecks in global supply chains.

The 189-country, anti-poverty agency forecasts worldwide economic growth of 4.1 percent this year, down from the 4.3 percent growth it was forecasting last June. It's also down from the 5.5 percent expansion it estimates the global economy tallied in 2021.

In its Global Economic Prospects report out Tuesday, the World Bank projects the U.S. economy will grow 3.7 percent this year, down from 5.6 percent in 2021. It expects China, the world's second-biggest economy, to see growth decelerate to 5.1 percent in 2022 from 8 percent last year.

The 19 European countries that share the euro currency are expected to collectively grow 4.2 percent this year, down from 5.2 percent in 2021. And Japan is forecast to register 2.9 percent growth in 2022, up from 1.7 percent last year.

Emerging and developing economies are forecast to collectively grow 4.6 percent this year, down from 6.3 percent in 2021.

The arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020 slammed global economic output. The world economy shrank by 3.4 percent in 2020. Massive relief provided by governments and super-low interest rates engineered by central banks -- and eventually the rollout of vaccines -- triggered an unexpectedly strong recovery last year.

But the speed of the rebound caught businesses by surprise. They have scrambled to find raw materials and supplies to meet customer demand and the ships, trains and trucks to transport them. Especially in the United States, they have struggled to find workers to fill job openings.

One result has been the highest global inflation rates since 2008. Central banks are now reducing their support for economic growth and considered raising interest rates to combat higher prices.

"The world economy is simultaneously facing COVID-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory," World Bank President David Malpass said.

Print Headline: Outbreaks, bottlenecks expected 
to slow global growth in '22

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