The latest edition of Africa’s Pulse says growth recovery has slowed as the region faces new economic threats, including new COVID-19 (coronavirus) variants, global inflation, supply disruptions and climate shocks. These challenges are compounded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has led to increasing international prices on commodities, particularly food staples, fertilizers, oil and gas. As global inflationary pressures increase, African economies are also faced with the likelihood that advanced economies will withdraw the policy stimulus deployed at the start of the pandemic.
Since emerging from its first recession in 25 years, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at 4% in 2021, up by 0.7 percentage point from the October 2021 projections, and up from -2.0% in 2020. However, growth recovery in the region has slowed in the second half of 2021 due to the impact of the Delta COVID-19 variant, elevated debt levels in many countries, lingering supply bottlenecks, the plateauing of metal and mineral prices, rising inflation and tightening financial conditions.
East Asia and the Pacific (EAP)
Download Report (Spring 2022)
Just as the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region was weathering recurrent COVID storms, three new clouds have gathered over the economic horizon: financial tightening in the US, structural slowdown in China, and the war in Ukraine. These difficulties should not, however, obscure the new avenues for growth in the region through trade and innovation.
The April 2022 issue of the World Bank’s EAP Economic Update suggests bold reforms to avert the risks and grasp the opportunities.
Europe and Central Asia (ECA)
The war in Ukraine is the second major shock in two years to trigger an economic contraction in the Europe and Central Asia region, with output in 2022 forecast to contract 4.1 percent — twice as steep as the recession in 2020 from the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the war has added to mounting concerns of a sharp global growth slowdown, surging inflation and debt, and a spike in poverty levels.
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
Latin America and the Caribbean is consolidating its recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, but the region still faces important uncertainties such as rising global inflation and the spillover effects of the war in Ukraine on the world economy. Amid this uncertainty, the region´s need to continue to pursue the foundations for dynamic, inclusive, and sustainable growth remains paramount, according to a new World Bank report.
South Asia Region (SAR)
Growth in South Asia, already uneven and fragile, will be slower than previously projected, due to the impacts of the war in Ukraine and persistent economic challenges. The region is expected to grow by 6.6 percent in 2022, a downward revision of 1.0 percentage point compared to the January projection. Countries in South Asia are already grappling with rising commodity prices, supply bottlenecks, and vulnerabilities in financial sectors. The war in Ukraine will amplify these challenges, further contributing to inflation, increasing fiscal deficits, and deteriorating current account balances. Governments need to carefully plan monetary and fiscal policies to counter external shocks and protect the vulnerable. The war and its impact on fuel prices can also provide the region with much-needed impetus to reduce reliance on fuel imports and transition to a green, resilient and inclusive growth trajectory.
The Middle East and North Africa
Spring Update Now Live
This edition of the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Economic Update estimates that the region’s economies will grow by 5.2% in 2022, the fastest rate since 2016. However, uncertainty reigns with the unpredictable course of the war in Ukraine and the trajectory of COVID-19. Growth in the region will be uneven as oil and food importing economies in the region will be hurt on average, in contrast with oil exporting countries. The report also looks at the reliability of economic forecasts in a region where data transparency has long been an issue.