By  on January 21, 2010

GENEVA — World output is forecast to grow 2.4 percent this year, rebounding from a 2.2 percent decline last year, with emerging economies such as China and India leading the recovery, according to a United Nations report.

The study estimated world trade volume, which fell 12.5 percent last year, will increase 5.4 percent.

The rebound largely will result from $2.6 trillion in fiscal stimulus measures by major economies that “effectively arrested further erosion of confidence worldwide” caused by the recession, the report said.

But U.N. economists cautioned the recovery will be uneven and fragile.

The cutbacks in industrial production seen in the early stages of the recession have been reversed, according to the study.

Firms have started to restock inventories “rather than respond to stronger consumer or investment demand,” the report said.

China and India are projected to grow 8.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, as well as Brazil, 4.5 percent, and Indonesia, 5 percent.

Increases in wages and productivity have helped spur domestic demand in China, said Heiner Flassbeck, chief of globalization at the U.N. Conference on Trade & Development.

The economies of wealthy nations in the European Union, along with the U.S. and Japan, are expected to show a weak recovery. In the U.S., with private investments projected to remain sluggish in the short term and rates of capacity utilization at historic lows, growth this year is estimated to increase 2.1 percent, compared with last year’s 2.5 percent decline.

Flassbeck said major economies with large surpluses, such as China, Japan and Germany, need to stimulate domestic demand and major deficit economies, such as the U.S., need to export more in order for global imbalances to be reduced.

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