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Conference Board Report: Lackluster Global Economy Growth Expected For Well Over a Decade

A new report by The Conference Board predicts that world growth will slow to about 3 percent per year (on average) until at least the middle of the next decade. "Global Economic Outlook 2012" provides projections for output growth of the world economy for 2012, 2013 to 2016 and 2017 to 2025, plus info about 12 major regions as well as about 50 advanced and emerging economies. Other key findings from the report include:

  • Global growth is projected to grow at 3.2 percent in 2012, accelerate to 3.5 percent from 2013 to 2016, then slow down to 2.7 percent from 2017 to 2025.

  • At 3 percent, on average, global growth will still be somewhat higher than 1980 to 1995, but between half and a full percentage point below the growth rate from 1995 to 2008. A recovery in advanced economies will be more than offset by a gradual slowdown in emerging ones as they mature. The net result? Global growth will slow down.

  • Emerging nations, led by China and India, are expected to slow, with total GDP seen rising 5.1 percent in 2012, 4.9 percent from 2013 to 2016, and 3.4 percent after that. China is expected to expand 8.7 percent next year, 6.6 percent in the following four years, and only 3.5 percent between 2017 and 2025.

  • The biggest risk ahead for the global economy is not overall slower growth in output, but a slowdown in average output per capita (it determines how quickly living standards can be supported and raised).

  • Advanced economy growth is expected to slow down from an already meager 1.6 percent in 2011 to 1.3 percent in 2012. From 2013 to 2016, the outlook suggests some recovery in advanced economies, bringing these countries back to the pre-recession growth trend of a little more than 2 percent.

"The greatest challenge for the global economy in this slow growth environment is to raise productivity without losing job opportunities for the millions who are looking for reasonably paid jobs to support their living standards," said Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board. "The growth rate of per capita income globally has been around 2.4 percent since the beginning of the century, but sometime between 2017 and 2025, this rate will fall below 2 percent. In contrast to the past half century, that slowdown will also be accompanied by slower growth in population."

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