News

World Bank Forecasts Slower Growth for 2006

The World Bank says economic growth in developing countries is slowing down because of higher oil prices and rising interest rates.

The forecasts are contained in the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects Report for 2006 released by the Washington-based institution Wednesday.

According to senior World Bank economist Anthony Burns, economic growth in developing countries will average about 5.9 percent this year, a decline of nearly one percentage point from the 2004 figure of 6.8 percent.

Mr. Burns told a London news conference the forecast for 2006 is for 5.7 percent growth in the world's emerging economies, and he blames much of the slowdown on higher oil prices.

"We are worried that the pain from high oil prices is only beginning to be felt now and into 2006. For the most vulnerable of countries, they have to cut into their non-oil imports in order to pay for the higher oil prices and that means reductions in domestic demand and in general that hits the poorest people living in those countries most severely," he said.

In terms of the world's poorest people, those living on less than one dollar a day, Mr. Burns says the bulk of them are Africans and the trend will only get worse.

"By 2015, we expect that more than one-half of the extremely poor will be living in Africa. And, despite the fact that the incidence of poverty is going to decline in Africa from about 46 percent now to about 38 percent in 2015, we actually think the absolute number of people living in this very extreme level of poverty will increase because of rapid population growth," he said.

Another section of the report focuses on the benefits and problems associated with migration and the impact of remittances, whereby expatriate workers from poor countries send money back home to relatives.

The director of the bank's Development Prospects Group, Uri Dadush, says hundreds of billions of dollars cross borders this way, having a huge affect on the world economy.

"Remittances represent more than 10 percent of GDP in the 20 largest developing country recipients," explained Mr. Dadush. "They are larger than all capital flows in 36 developing countries. They are actually bigger than merchandise exports in 12 developing countries. So we are talking here about a phenomenon of very great magnitude.

The report recommends that developing countries concentrate on better public service jobs and more research and development ventures to curb what is called the "brain drain" of skilled workers with university degrees.

As for low-skilled workers, the bank calls for managed migration programs, including temporary work visas. And, it suggests more competitive financial services so poor families can cut the fees that can run as high as 20 percent for sending remittances across borders.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs