World Bank Projects Weak Global Growth Amid Rising Interest Rates

Mr. Kose said that the world economy was experiencing a “sharp, synchronized global slowdown” and that 65 percent of countries would experience slower growth this year than last. A decade of poor fiscal management in low-income countries that relied on borrowed money is compounding the problem. According to the World Bank, 14 of 28 low-income countries are in debt distress or at a high risk of debt distress.

Optimism about an economic rebound this year has been dampened by recent stress in the banking sectors in the United States and Europe, which resulted in the biggest bank failures since the 2008 financial crisis. Concerns about the health of the banking industry have prompted many lenders to pull back on providing credit to businesses and individuals, a phenomenon that the World Bank said was likely to further weigh down growth.

The bank also warned that rising borrowing costs in rich countries — including the United States, where overnight interest rates have topped 5 percent for the first time in 15 years — posed an additional headwind for the world’s poorest economies.

The most vulnerable economies, the report warned, are facing greater risk of financial crises as a result of rising rates. Higher interest rates make it more expensive for developing countries to service their loan payments and, if their currencies depreciate, to import food.

In addition to the risks posed by rising interest rates, the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine have combined to reverse decades of progress in global poverty reduction. The World Bank estimated on Tuesday that in 2024, incomes in the poorest countries would be 6 percent lower than in 2019.

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