Business, Economics and Jobs

World Bank cuts East Asia, Pacific growth forecast, stocks tumble


This picture taken on September 26, 2012 shows workers on a scaffold at a construction site in Hefei, in central China's Anhui province. Beijing recently approved a massive infrastructure package as the government seeks to boost the flagging economy.

Global stock markets were mostly in the red on Monday after the World Bank slashed its growth forecast for developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific and warned the slowdown in China could accelerate.

The Washington-based lender cut this year’s growth forecast for the region to 7.2 percent, down from its May forecast of 7.6 percent and 2011 growth of 8.2 percent, the Agence France-Presse reported, citing the bank’s latest report.

Growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, is expected to slow to 7.7 percent this year from May’s forecast of 8.2 percent.

The Asian powerhouse expanded 9.3 percent in 2011.

"In a fragile external environment, the economy in the East Asia and Pacific region continues to slow down," the bank said, according to the Associated Press.

"The risk remains of a more pronounced slowdown in China than currently expected, while commodity exporters are at particular risk of a global slowdown."

World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Bert Hofman said China was experiencing a “double whammy” from “weaker exports as well as domestic demand,” Reuters reported.

But the bank expects growth in China to be back above eight percent in 2013 as government stimulus measures kick in.

The data rattled investors, with markets in the United States, Europe and Asia mostly lower, the New York Times reported.

More from GlobalPost: China's Great Wall of Inequality: how a booming economy is creating a deeply divided society




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