Global economic growth is projected to soften from a downwardly revised 3 percent in 2018 to 2.9 percent in 2019 amid rising downside risks to the outlook, the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects says.
Growth among advanced economies is forecast to drop to 2 percent this year, the January 2019 Global Economic Prospects says. Slowing external demand, rising borrowing costs, and persistent policy uncertainties are expected to weigh on the outlook for emerging market and developing economies. Growth for this group is anticipated to hold steady at a weaker-than-expected 4.2 percent this year. Read More.
Of the world’s 736 million extreme poor in 2015, 368 million—half of the total—lived in just 5 countries. The 5 countries with the highest number of extreme poor are (in descending order): India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. They also happen to be the most populous countries of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions that together account for 85 percent (629 million) of the world’s poor.
Therefore, to make significant continued progress towards the global target of reducing extreme poverty (those living on less than $1.90 a day) to less than 3 percent by 2030, large reductions in poverty in these five countries will be crucial. Read More.
Thanks to strong national leadership and ambitious reforms, most parts of the world have seen an expansion in access to health services and action to ensure affordability. However, despite this, half the world's population still cannot access needed health services and 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of health expenses, according to recent research from the World Bank Group and World Health Organization (WHO). Read More.
The total external debt of low- and middle-income countries rose 10 percent in 2017 to $7.1 trillion, a faster pace of debt accumulation than the 4 percent increase in 2016, according to the International Debt Statistics 2019. Regional level trends in external debt in 2017 accumulation varied. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa accumulated external debt at a faster pace than low- and middle-income countries in other regions in 2017: the combined external debt stock rose 15.5 percent from the previous year to $535 billion.
Much of this increase was driven by a sharp rise in borrowing by two of the region's largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, where the external debt stock rose 29 percent and 21 percent respectively. Read More.
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