Global growth will slow this year as oil exporters in the developing world struggle to cope with lower energy prices, the World Bank has said in its half-yearly economic health check.
The managing director of the International Monetary Fund has made an impassioned plea for Britain to stay in the EU, saying Brexit would spell the painful breakdown of a “long marriage” with grave risks for the global economy.
The World Bank has slashed its forecast for oil prices this year, saying the cost of a barrel of crude will stay near its current lows for the rest of 2016.
The risk of the global economy being battered by a “perfect storm” in 2016 has been highlighted by the World Bank in a flagship report that warns that a synchronised slowdown in the biggest emerging markets could be intensified by a fresh bout of financial turmoil.
The government’s drive to cut red tape and corporate tax has seen the UK move up the international league table for doing business in a year that has seen both rich and poor countries strive to ease regulations on setting up and running companies, the World Bank said.
Global growth will step up a gear over the next two years according to the International Monetary Fund, following the collapse in oil prices and the easing of austerity programmes in developed countries.
Six years ago, finance ministers and central bank governors gathered in Washington for the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund with the global financial system teetering on the brink.
Environmentalists and human rights campaigners have sounded the alarm at radical plans to ease conditions for World Bank loans, enabling more than $50bn (£29bn) of public money a year to be made available for large power, mining, transport and farming projects.