World Economic and Social Survey 1999

Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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Part one. State of the World Economy: provides a chronicle of how large parts of the world economy were sent reeling in the past two years by the fragility of financial systems and their international connectedness. On the whole, the world economy seems to have hit bottom and most of the affected countries are moving towards recovery. Part two. Financial Development in the Globalizing World: serves as a contribution to the international discussion on “financing for development”. It seeks to give a perspective on the major changes that have been taking place in recent decades in the banking and financial systems of developed, developing and transition economies.



The World Economy in 1999

After two years of financial turbulence and a marked slowdown in global economic growth, the world economy is no longer weakening. Led by the easing of monetary policy in major developed economies since the autumn of 1998, economic prospects have improved and global financial markets have shown signs of stabilization. Most noticeably, financial contagion from the Brazilian currency crisis at the beginning of 1999 was contained and there has been some restoration of capital flows to a number of emerging markets. There has also been a rebound in the price of oil since early 1999. The international prices of other commodities, which experienced a sharp decline in 1997-1998 and were an economic setback to many developing countries, have also stabilized.


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