Now the World Bank is blaming the weather. In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, the forecast calls for the global economy to expand by 2.8% in 2014, led by the high-income, developed world where growth is forecast at 1.9% for the year.
Economic growth in developing nations is now forecast to rise by 4.8%, down from a January estimate of 5.3%. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said:
Growth rates in the developing world remain far too modest to create the kind of jobs we need to improve the lives of the poorest 40%. Clearly, countries need to move faster and invest more in domestic structural reforms to get broad-based economic growth to levels needed to end extreme poverty in our generation.
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China's economy is pegged to grow 7.6% in 2014, but the World Bank warns that this level of growth depends on the success of the country's rebalancing efforts.
In the United States, the harsh winter weather that caused the economy to contract in the first quarter led the World Bank to cut its growth forecast for 2014 for the nation from 2.8% to 2.1%. The growth forecast for the euro area calls for growth of 1.1%, up from a 0.4% contraction in 2013.
The World Bank seeks global economic growth rising from 2.8% this year to 3.4% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2016, led by stronger growth in the developed world. Growth rates will be higher in the developing countries, but on a much smaller base.