Recession clouds blow over

The latest IMF report paints a healthy economic picture for 2002 and 2003, with the Russian Federation by far exceeding already optimistic expectations.

The IMF report predicts a world growth rate of 2.8% for 2002 and 4% for 2003, due to “prompt monetary policy, interest rate cuts and the reduction in the price of oil”. The Russian Federation performed particularly well, growing between 4.5% in 2002 and 4.9% in 2003, as compared to 5% in 2001. The IMF report declared that continued growth will depend on continuing structural reforms.

As for the USA, the figures quoted are a growth rate of 2.3% for 2002 and 3.4% for the following year, the same as Africa’s expected growth rate for the current year, although there is an imbalance between the petroleum exporters and importers.

South America, with the exception of Uruguay, managed to survive the Argentinean crisis more or less unscathed. Brazil is expected to grow 2.5% in 2002 and 3.5% next year and Mexico shows figures of 1.7% and 4.9% for the same two years.

Argentina, on the other hand, is expected to see its GDP drop by up to 15% this year, remaining steady in 2003 or possibly rising by 3%. Venezuela is also expected to have an economic slowdown due to political uncertainties and Uruguay, whose economy is intrinsically linked to Argentina’s, will likewise show a downturn in GDP growth rates,

Oil prices will dictate whether or not the Middle East countries grow or remain stable. At current prices, the GDP growth is expected to slow from 5% to 3.4% in 2002. As for Japan, an increase in GDP of 0.8% is only forecast for 2003, while in the current year the economy should remain in recession, due to the rupture in the banking sector and the deflation of the markets.

As for Euroland, there is expected to be growth rates of 1.4% for the current year and 3% for 2003, although the IMF indicates that Euro zone growth is dependent upon the behaviour of the German economy.


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