The world economy is now growing at its slowest rate since the early years of the de cade (see table 1). The recession in Japan, the East Asian crisis and the Russian crisis—along with contagion through the financial markets—combined in 1998 to halve the rate of growth of the world economy and to raise concern about global recession. At some points during the year there was fear of serious dam age to major financial markets. The number of countries that saw an increase in output per capita in 1998 was 23 less than in the previous year and no significant improvement is expected in 1999. Moreover, world trade in 1998 grew at less than half the pace of 1997 and about the same growth rate is foreseen for 1999. International prices in dollars of crude petroleum fell about one third and non-fuel commodity prices about one eighth in 1998 (see table A.10). With no acceleration expected in the growth of world output and thus demand, commodity prices are forecast to remain depressed in 1999.

Sustainable Development Goals:
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