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World Economic Survey 1986

Current Trends and Policies in the World Economy

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The large imbalances in trade and payments that have in recent years characterized the world economy persisted in 1985 and early 1986. In particular, unprecedented disequilibrium prevailed in the trade and financial relations of major industrial countries, and there was a continued overall net transfer of resources from developing to developed countries, largely related to the international debt crisis. Both of these situations were, in the course of 1985, increasingly perceived as unsustainable, economically as well as politically.

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The development crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa

There was ample rain, the best in a decade, across much of the African continent in 1985. Total agricultural production and food production increased during the year. For the first time since 1980, some GDP growth was achieved in sub-Saharan Africa. None the less, famine still threatens millions of its people. The region continues to be extremely vulnerable not only to the level of rain but also to fluctuations in commodity prices and in international financial flows. The long-term economic deterioration in sub-Saharan Africa has not been halted. On the contrary, it has been aggravated by increasingly severe import curtailment in the past few years.

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