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Trade and Development Report 1992

image of Trade and Development Report 1992

The world economy has been suffering its most severe recession since the Second World War. Production has fallen in the United States and flattened in Japan. Western Europe is stagnating: the boost provided by German unification has petered out, while high interest rates remain. Growth has picked up in Latin America, but remains slow there and in other developing regions, other than parts of Asia. Central and Eastern Europe are suffering a precipitous fall in living standards; the transition process is proving much more painful than anticipated. Overall, signs of improvement are scant.

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Development and growth: A long-term perspective

The world economy is presently undergoing a profound transformation which reflects developments in terms of economic fundamentals at the national and international level, in official policies as well as in financial markets and institutions. Of obvious immediate and longer-term significance is the economic transformation that is under way in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former USSR. Similarly, the conclusion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the establishment of a European Economic Area (EEA) and similar arrangements in the Western hemisphere, as well as of a single EEC market and the enlargement of the Community, may well lead to important changes, directly and indirectly, in both the direction and the composition of world trade.

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