OECD warns of pervasive global economic slowdown, projecting growth at a modest 3% this year before slowing further to just 2.2% in 2023.
The revision is well below the pace of economic growth projected prior to the war and represents around US$ 2.8 trillion in foregone global output in 2023, OECD said in its interim economic outlook.
- The Russia-Ukraine war has further pushed up energy prices, especially in Europe, aggravating inflationary pressures at a time when the cost of living was already rising rapidly around the world due to lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- With businesses across many economies passing through higher energy, transportation and labour costs, inflation is reaching levels not seen since the 1980s, forcing central banks to rapidly tighten monetary policy settings faster than anticipated.
- The inflation and energy supply shock stemming from the war has led the OECD to predict a pervasive global economic slowdown.
- Annual GDP growth is projected to slow to around 1/2% in the United States in 2023, and 1/4% in the euro area, with risks of deeper declines in several European economies during the winter months.
- Growth in China has also been hit and is expected to drop to a projected 3.2% in 2022. Except the 2020 pandemic, this will be the lowest growth rate in China since the 1970s.
- Inflation is projected to recede gradually through 2023 in most G20 countries as tighter monetary policy takes effect and global growth slows.
- Headline inflation is projected to ease from 8.2% this year to 6.6% in 2023 in the G20 economies, and fall from 6.2% this year to 4% in 2023 in the G20 advanced economies.
- The OECD points to substantial uncertainty about the economic outlook, with significant downside risks. These include the possibility of further food and energy price spikes, which could push many people into poverty, as well as the possibility of gas shortages as winter progresses in the Northern hemisphere.
- Reducing energy consumption and diversifying supply sources will be critical to avoid shortages, which would push global energy prices up, damage confidence, and likely worsen financial conditions and require a temporary period of enforced reduction of gas use by businesses.
- Taken together, these shocks could reduce growth in the European economies by more than 1¼ percentage points in 2023, relative to the Outlook’s central projection, and raise inflation by over 1½ percentage points.
- This would push many countries into a full year recession in 2023, while GDP growth would also be weakened in 2024.
- Other key risks are that the ongoing adjustments in Chinese property markets — combined with the high level of corporate debt in China and continuation of the country’s “zero-Covid” policy — could generate a more severe slowdown in the world’s second largest economy than projected.
- This risk comes on top of continued costs from global supply chain pressures, and possible debt crises and financial contagion in many emerging-market and low-income economies.