After growth of less than 2 per cent for over two years, the world economy is gaining momentum. Following the setbacks caused by the prospects of war in Iraq and the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) early in 2003, economic growth in an increasing number of countries shifted to a measurably higher gear in the second half of the year, raising the growth of gross world product (GWP) for 2003 as a whole to 2.5 per cent. Despite some lingering uncertainties and downside risks, the economic recovery is expected to strengthen and broaden further, raising global economic growth to 3½ per cent in 2004. The growth of world trade is expected to reach 7½ per cent in 2004, up from 4.7 per cent in 2003. The improved performance and outlook does not, however, compensate for the subdued growth of the previous two years when world per capita output failed to increase.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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