The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 offers timely warnings about a range of macroeconomic challenges facing policymakers as they aim to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Last year’s report noted that after a long period of stagnation, the world economy was strengthening, creating opportunities to reorient policy towards the longer-term pursuit of sustainable development. The intervening year has been punctuated by escalating global trade disputes and episodes of financial stress and volatility, amid an undercurrent of geopolitical tensions.
While global economic indicators remain largely favorable, they do not tell the whole story. The World Economic Situation and Prospects 2019 underscores that behind these numbers, one can discern a build-up in short-term risks that are threatening global growth prospects. More fundamentally, the report raises concerns over the sustainability of global economic growth in the face of rising financial, social and environmental challenges. Global levels of public and private debt continue to rise. Economic growth is often failing to reach the people who need it most. The essential transition towards environmentally sustainable production and consumption is not happening fast enough, and the impacts of climate change are growing more widespread and severe.