UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD) forecasts global economic growth to slow to 2.6% in 2024, just above the 2.5% threshold commonly associated with a recession.

This marks the third consecutive year of growth below the pre-pandemic rate, which averaged 3.2% between 2015 and 2019.

The UNCTAD report warns that the prevailing focus on inflation overshadows urgent issues like trade disruptions, climate change and rising inequalities.

It calls for structural reforms and co-ordinated global efforts, proposing a comprehensive strategy that includes both supply-side policies to boost investment and demand-side measures to improve employment and income.

The report highlights an uneven post-pandemic recovery in different regions.

On Africa, the UNCTAD report says it is projected to grow at 3% in 2024, up slightly from 2.9% in 2023. Armed conflicts and climate impacts pose significant challenges in several countries.

The continent’s largest economies – Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa – are underperforming, affecting overall prospects.

On South America, the report said the economic growth is slowing, with Brazil expected to grow at 2.1%, hampered by external pressures and commodity dependence, while Argentina faces a 3.7% contraction due to inflation and complex debt negotiations.

North America: Growth remains relatively resilient, though challenges continue. The United States is expected to grow at 2%, reflecting concerns over high household debt levels.

Asia: China targets around 5% growth in 2024, capitalizing on robust manufacturing and trade. India's economy is buoyed by strong public investment and service sector growth, with a forecasted expansion of 6.5% in 2024. Japan is expected to grow at 1.0% amid export demand challenges.

Europe: Major economies experience economic slowdowns, with France, Germany, and Italy projecting growth of 1.3%, 0.9%, and 0.8%, respectively, due to industrial and fiscal challenges.

Oceania: Economic growth in the region, particularly in Australia (1.4% growth projected in 2024), is expected to remain subdued, with the low-growth period extending into 2024.

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