The global economic recovery is facing significant headwinds amid new waves of COVID-19 infections, persistent labour market challenges, lingering supply-chain challenes and rising inflationary pressures. After expanding by 5.5 per cent in 2021, the global output is projected to grow by only 4.0 per cent in 2022 and 3.5 per cent in 2023, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2022.
The robust recovery in 2021 ？ driven by strong consumer spending and some uptake in investment, with trade in goods surpassing pre-pandemic levels ― marked the highest growth rate in more than four decades, the Report highlighted. Yet the momentum for growth ？ especially in China, the United States and the European Union ？ slowed considerably by the end of 2021, as the effects of monetary and fiscal stimuli began to recede and major supply-chain disruptions emerged. Rising inflationary pressures in many economies are posing additional risks to recovery.
“In this fragile and uneven period of global recovery, the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2022 calls for better targeted and coordinated policy and financial measures at the national and international levels,” said Ant？nio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
He added, “The time is now to close the inequality gaps within and among countries. If we work in solidarity ？ as one human family ？ we can make 2022 a true year of recovery for people and economies alike.”
With the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 unleashing new waves of infections, the human and economic toll of the pandemic are projected to increase again. “Without a coordinated and sustained global approach to contain COVID-19 that includes universal access to vaccines, the pandemic will continue to pose the greatest risk to an inclusive and sustainable recovery of the world economy,” noted Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.