The world economy faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression, according to the United Nations. The body expects global economic output to contract by as much as 0.4 percent in 2009, due to recession stalking developed countries, particularly Europe and the United States.
The UN offered a baseline forecast of one percent growth, a pessimistic analysis of 0.4 percent contraction and an optimistic scenario of 1.6 percent growth. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon painted a gloomy picture: “Today’s financial crisis will become tomorrow’s human crisis. Social unrest and political instability will grow.” The UN said it marked the first year of shrinkage since the 1930s.
The World Economic Situation and Prospects Report sees developed economies shrinking by 1.5 percent, while developing nations should show a 2.7 percent growth. The slowing of the economies in the poorer countries will impact on the progress made on poverty reduction in many developing nations.