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World Economic Survey 1985

Current Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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The crucial role of international trade in reinforcing global demand was evident in 1984, as the growth of world output gradually regained the pace of the late 1970s. Yet the geographical spread of the recovery remained limited, and economic growth in half of the developing countries was still so low that income per capita either continued to fall or stagnated. This uneven recovery, its sources and the policies conditioning its transmission, as well as its short-term prospects, are the focus of the World Economic Survey 1985.

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Selected policy responses and adjustments to economic disequilibria

Since the mid-1970s, the global economy has been beset by socio-economic imbalances and dislocations unprecedented in the post-war period, and quite different in nature and extent from earlier disturbances. Before the past troubled decade, shocks to the global economy were comparatively mild, usually affected only a limited number of countries, and could be mitigated through various flexibilities built into the international trade and financial framework. Especially during the cyclical downturn of the mid-1970s, these accommodations included ample financial resources from official and private financial institutions, and the opportunity for a number of countries to promote exports. The dislocations of the 1980s have not only been world-wide but also, because of the sharp curtailment of the resources for accommodation, much more severe and pervasive.

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