U.N. Report Projects Subdued Growth for World Economy

Weakness in industrialized countries impact prospects.

GENEVA — World output, impacted by weaknesses in major industrialized economies, is forecast to grow 2.4 percent in 2013, up from this year’s rate of 2.2 percent, a United Nations report published Tuesday forecast.

Growth in world trade is also projected to expand “at a rather tepid pace of 4.3 percent in volume terms in 2013, compared to 3.3 percent in 2012.”

The “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013” report said, “Weaknesses in the major developed economies are at the root of continued global economic woes. Most of them, particularly those in Europe, are dragged into a downward spiral as high unemployment, continued deleveraging by firms and households, banking fragility, heightened sovereign risks, fiscal tightening and slower growth viciously feed into one another.”

Rob Vos, director of development policy and analysis at the U.N.’s department of economic and social affairs, warned there are downside risks to the outlook.

“A worsening of the Euro area crisis, the fiscal cliff in the United States and a hard landing in China could cause a new global recession,” Vos said. “Each of these could cause global output losses of between 1 and 3 percent.”

Under the baseline outlook, U.N. analysts anticipate growth in the U.S. economy “to decelerate to 1.7 percent in 2013 from an already anemic 2.1 percent this year,” and the Euro area to average only a 0.3 percent increase in 2013, from this year’s 0.5 percent contraction.

For China, the report forecasts output to increase 7.9 percent in 2013, up from 7.7 percent projected for this year, and for growth in India to reach 6.1 percent, up from 5.5 percent for 2012.