Briefing to the ECOSOC session on
the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2013 Report
Ms. Shamshad Akhtar
Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
New York, 11 February 2013
Ms. Akhtar stated that the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2013 Report being presented, relies on data and trends of up to the third quarter of 2013. She highlighted that this round of crisis would be well remembered in economic history. Not only has this crisis been unique in its dimensions and recurrence, but it has turned out to be a complex and protracted crisis. This crisis has had an innate ability to take twists and turns. Uncertainties and sentiments have also played their role in the stretching period of recovery.
Since the release of the WESP Report, there have been few developments that have generated some cautious optimism regarding the global outlook. This is being driven by signs of pick-up in global growth, capital flows are gaining momentum, the financial market indices including equity and bond spreads have improved reflecting taming of some of the last year’s tail risks and indications are that growth is also likely to accelerate across the developing countries. Japan announced a fresh fiscal stimulus and its intention to relax its inflation targets and will be offering more monetary stimulus. In the United States, the Congress deferred spending cuts for a couple of months, though tax exemptions were not fully extended. Near-term concerns have distracted attention from medium and long-term policies that would help build market confidence.