World Economic Survey 1973

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Part one: Population and Development. This report is the twenty-fifth in a series of comprehensive reviews of world economic conditions published by the United Nations. On the occasion of the World Population Year (1974), part one of World Economic Survey 1973 examines the recent interrelationships between demographic change and the process of socio-economic development. Part two: Current Economic Developments, presents and overview of world production and trade and analyses the three main features of the global economic scene in 1973—the rise in commodity prices, the world food situation and the world energy situation. It also examines the recent economic developments affecting the supply and use of resources and the state of internal and external balance in the world.



Recent economic trends in the developing countries

A marked recovery in agriculture and an unprecedented boom in foreign trade raised the over-all rate of economic growth of the developing countries sharply in 1973, bringing the average for the 1970s back to the annual 6 per cent rate that had characterized the closing years of the 1960s. Though the widespread nature of the primary commodity boon ensured that most countries improved their terms of trade, there were some notable exceptions, particularly among the exporters of jute and tea and some of the mineral ores. Moreover, countries with sizable food deficits were hard hit by the steep rise in cereal prices. The even steeper rise in petroleum prices later in the year posed another serious threat to the external balance of a number of developing countries. More generally, the rapid increase in all import prices magnified very greatly the task of maintaining internal equilibrium. Thus, although most developing countries entered 1974 with their agriculture and industry in better shape than a year earlier and with appreciably higher international reserves, the radical change in price relationships had added some grave short-term difficulties to their many longei-trend development problems.


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