The World Bank says the global economy is recovering from recession, but growth could be hurt by the European debt crisis and other problems.
Bank officials say global growth will range between 2.9 and 3.3 percent this year and next, and speed up a bit in 2012. They say developing nations are growing faster than wealthy countries.
Wednesday's report from the World Bank warns that reduced international investment, high unemployment, and unused factory capacity could slow economic growth. But the authors also say they are encouraged by a rebound in international trade.
Key stock market indexes rose around the world Wednesday after a news report said China boosted exports and lending in May. Investors interpreted the news as a sign that China's economy is likely to continue strong growth.
Investors also were encouraged when the head of the U.S. central bank said Europe's debt crisis is likely to have only a "modest" impact on the U.S. economic recovery.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke also told a congressional committee that it will take a "significant" amount of time to recover the nearly 8.5 million U.S. jobs lost during the recession.
Earlier Wednesday, the leaders of Germany and France urged the European Union to speed up efforts to tighten financial market regulation.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso to tighten regulations on some financial instruments and derivatives. Some derivatives and other complex transactions are blamed for helping spark the economic crisis.
The call to tighten regulation comes as governments across Europe are working to prop up shaky economies and cut debts that threaten the value of the euro currency.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.