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David Malpass

David Malpass, president of the World Bank Group, says global growth is expected to be weak in 2023, slowing to two per cent from 3.1 per cent in 2022.

Malpass said this in his Opening address at the ongoing Spring Meetings 2023 Media Call, a copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.

He said several factors were weighing on the second-half outlook.

“Oil prices have jumped back above 80 dollars/barrel. The recent banking sector stress dampens activities and inflation pressures persist.

Malpass said the U.S. month-over-month core inflation had been rising over the last five months, saying there would be new data on Wednesday.

“If we look at developing countries excluding China, we expect a slowdown to about 3.1 per cent in 2023 from 4.1 per cent in 2022.

“The concern in our recent reports is that slow growth will persist for years for many developing countries, increasing the fiscal stress and debt problems.

“It is a combination of weak investment, higher interest rates, and relatively weak growth in the advanced economies.’’

He said the danger was acute due to inflation, currency depreciation, rising debt service costs, and the collapse of international reserves.

According to Malpass, the diversion of natural gas to Europe presented grave obstacles to developing country production of electricity, fertiliser, and food.

“These problems are severely constraining future growth and deepening inequality and fragility for developing countries.

“I travelled to West Africa in March, where we are working to provide support in the face of these problems.

“Looking at the big picture, I will mention two problems, first, the normalisation of interest rates after an artificial decade near zero.

He said this created problems in terms of the duration mismatch seen in the bank failures, liquidity shortages, and how to allocate the losses.



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