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Trade and Development Report 1989

image of Trade and Development Report 1989

Global output and trade expanded very rapidly last year and are continuing to grow, though at a somewhat reduced pace. The international economy is apparently in good health. However, this appearance is misleading. The growth impulses that are present are quite fragile, and will need to be actively protected.

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Current trends and outlook

The current world economic situation is one of uncertainty, market volatility and uneven growth in production and trade. Exchange rate movements have been rapid and have often seemed both to contradict fundamental economic relationships and to be beyond the influence of policy. In recent months the major developed market-economy countries have had only modest success in holding exchange rates within agreed bounds, and fiscal policy has scarcely been used as an instrument for macroeconomic control. Growth remains largely concentrated in the developed market economies and Asian exporters of manufactures. Growth of GDP has remained below that of population in most of Africa and in the least developed countries of Asia, while in Latin America growth slowed down in 1987 and weakened again in 1988; a further deceleration is in prospect for 1989.

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