The global growth projection for 2014 has been marked down by 0.3 percent to 3.4 percent, reflecting both the legacy of the weak first quarter, particularly in the United States, and a less optimistic outlook for several emerging markets. With somewhat stronger growth expected in some advanced economies next year, the global growth projection for 2015 remains at 4 percent.1/
Global growth is expected to rebound from the second quarter of 2014, as some of the drivers underlying first quarter weakness, such as the inventory correction in the United States, should have only temporary effects, and others should be offset by policies, including in China. But the first-quarter setback will only be partially offset.
Downside risks remain a concern. Increased geopolitical risks could lead to sharply higher oil prices. Financial market risks include higher-than-expected U.S. long-term rates and a reversal of recent risk spread and volatility compression. Global growth could be weaker for longer, given the lack of robust momentum in advanced economies despite very low interest rates and the easing of other brakes to the recovery. In some major emerging market economies, the negative growth effects of supply-side constraints and the tightening of financial conditions over the past year could be more protracted.
In many advanced and emerging market economies, structural reforms are urgently needed to close infrastructure gaps, strengthen productivity, and lift potential growth.
Global growth moderated more than expected in the first quarter of 2014, from an annual rate of 3¾ percent in the second half of 2013 to 2¾ percent—some ½ percentage point lower than the forecast in the April 2014 World Economic Outlook (WEO). Although there were upside surprises to activity—in Japan, and also in Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom—four negative surprises dominated.