UN report warns of fresh recession

The United Nations has lowered global economic growth forecast for the coming two years even as it warned of a new global recession due to the US fiscal cliff situation and EU debt crisis.

It also said inflationary pressures and large fiscal deficit will limit the scope for policy stimulus in India.

The UN's 'World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013' report released on Tuesday said growth of the world economy has weakened considerably during 2012 and is expected to remain "subdued" in 2013 and 2014.

The global economy is expected to grow at 2.4% in 2013 and 3.2% in 2014, a downgrade from the UN's forecast six months ago when the world body had predicted a 2.7% growth for 2013 and 3.9% for the year after.

Asia's growth engines, China and India, have also shifted into "lower gear".

India, which had grown 6.9% in 2011, will see its growth drop significantly to 5.5% in 2012. The growth rate is expected to pick up pace in 2013 when the Indian economy is forecast to grow 6.1% and 6.5% in 2014, the report said.

"Both China and India face a number of structural challenges hampering growth. Given persistent inflationary pressures and large fiscal deficits, the scope for policy stimulus in India and other South Asian countries is limited," the report added.

GDP growth in South Asia is expected to average 5% in 2013, up from 4.4% of 2012, led by a moderate recovery of India's economy but still well below potential, the report added.

Weaknesses in the major developed economies such as US and Europe are at the root of the global economic slowdown, it said.

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