Volume 15, No.6 - June 2011

Publications and websites

Technical reports

World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2011 update

World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2011

The World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2011 was launched on 25 May and highlights that the recovery of the global economy remains intact but uneven, with strong output growth in developing countries and a weaker economic performance in developed countries. At the same time, new headwinds have emerged, such as upward pressure on inflation rates due to higher energy and food prices and continued appreciation pressure on emerging market currencies.

It further analyses a number of risks, including problems regarding the sustainability of public finances in developed economies, the remaining vulnerability of the private financial sector, continued high and volatile commodity prices and the possible collapse of the United States dollar. In the area of policy making, the report highlights numerous challenges such as how to time the unwinding of fiscal support, the redesign of fiscal policy to promote employment and sustainable development, greater synergy between monetary and fiscal policy, the provision of sufficient funding to developing countries and more effective international policy coordination.

For more information:

World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision

The 2010 Revision of the World Population Prospects is the twenty-second round of global demographic estimates and projections undertaken by the Population Division of DESA. The world population prospects are used widely throughout the UN and by many international organizations, research centers, academic researchers and the media. This new revision was released on 3 May and key findings and projections were presented at a press conference in New York by Hania Zlotnik, Director of DESA’s Population Division. Among other things, projections show that the number of people inhabiting the planet is expected to pass the 10 billion mark by 2100. Ms. Zlotnik also stated that unlike past reports, this one includes projections for all countries and regions of the world up to 2100. She said the new and more complex method used to project fertility took countries’ past experiences more into account in order to chart future fertility paths.

Ms. Zlotnik also said that the world population was projected to increase to 7 billion towards the end of the year and that while the world had not collapsed under the billions of new people, the poorest countries were experiencing the highest rates of population growth.

The next revision is due in the first part of 2013.

For more information:

Statistical compilations


Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

The Monthly Bulletin of Statistics presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains over 50 tables of monthly and/or annual and quarterly data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments, including population, prices, employment and earnings, energy, manufacturing, transport, construction, international merchandise trade and finance.

Monthly Bulletin of Statistics and MBS Online

Vol. LXV – No. 4, April 2011

This month, the following tables, which are featured in the MBS on a quarterly or bimonthly basis, are presented along with the regular recurrent monthly tables: Retail price indices relating to living expenditures of UN officials, Civil aviation traffic: passenger km and cargo net ton km, Total exports and imports by countries or areas: volume, unit value, terms of trade and purchasing power of exports, in US dollars.

For more information:

Updated Environmental Indicators on the Web

DESA’s Statistics Division (UNSD) publishes global environment statistics through two main web-based products, UNSD Environmental Indicators and Country Snapshots. The environmental indicators in the areas of Air and Climate; Biodiversity; Energy and Minerals; Forests; Governance; Inland Water Resources; Land and Agriculture; Marine and Coastal Areas; Natural Disasters; and Waste have been recently updated.

Statistics on Water and Waste are based on official statistics supplied by national statistical offices and/or ministries of environment (or equivalent institutions) in response to the biennial UNSD/UNEP Questionnaire on Environment Statistics, complemented with comparable statistics from OECD and Eurostat, and water resources data from FAO Aquastat. Statistics on the other themes were compiled by UNSD from other international sources.

The updated Environmental Indicators, published in the form of indicator and time series tables, charts, along with maps, are available at:

Publications in other languages

The following publications are now available in other languages:

  • International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Supplement to the Compilers Manual ST/ESA/STAT/SER. F/87/Add.1 (Spanish, Chinese)
  • Designing Household Survey Samples: Practical Guidelines ST/ESA/STAT/SER.F/98 (Chinese)

For more information:

Meeting records

DSD officially launched “Synergies Success Stories,” a joint publication of DESA and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions, UNEP and FAO at the High-level Segment of CSD-19. An electronic version of the publication, as well as the websites of relevant conventions, was posted on the Commission’s website.

For more information:



Rio+20: Making it Happen

The latest issue of the newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 9, features a Nordic Council side-event held at CSD-19, which focused on the role of women in the economy and the importance of engaging civil society and to create a sustainable future. Among other issues, reports and events, it also highlights the upcoming thematic debate of the UN General Assembly on the “green economy” on 2 June and the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo-Mekong Forest Basins in the Republic of Congo on 31 May to 3 June.

For more information:,%20Issue%209%20_17%20May_.Revised%20II.pdf

Discussion papers


Monthly Briefing on the World Economic Situation and Prospects

The monthly briefing states that the International oil prices increased further amidst continued unrest in the Middle East, the US dollar fell to historic lows and many emerging and developing countries are tightening monetary policies.

For more information:

Working papers


Adapting the international monetary system to face 21st century challenges

Recent calls for more intense debate on and reforms to the international monetary system imply that the current system is unable to respond appropriately and adequately to challenges that have appeared, or become more acute, in recent years. This paper focuses on four such challenges: ensuring an orderly exit from global imbalances, facilitating more complementary adjustments between surplus and deficit countries without recessionary impacts, better supporting international trade by reducing currency volatility and better providing development and climate finance. After describing them, it proposes reforms to enable the international monetary system to better respond to these challenges.

For more information:

Credit to Private Sector, Interest Spread and Volatility in Credit-Flows: Do Bank Ownership and Deposits Matter?

With bank-level data from 81 developing countries, this paper shows that increased foreign bank presence is associated with increased reliance on non-deposit based funding, which leads to higher interest rate spreads, less credit to the private sector, and higher volatility in bank loans.

Foreign bank entry significantly reduces domestic banks’ share of deposits while foreign banks typically allocate less of their assets and deposits to lending. As domestic banks lose their deposit base, they rely on non-deposit based funding, but its higher costs and uncertainty force domestic banks to reduce their lending activities.

For more information:



Redesigned website of DESA’s Social Policy and Development Division

Redesigned website of DESA’s Social Policy and Development Division

A new and improved DSPD website is now available. The new website delivers important innovations both in terms of content and technological enhancements. The site reflects DESA’s work in social development and its outreach. Through the new site, both existing users and new visitors can gain a greater understanding of the Division’s activities and achievements in promoting social development for all.

To browse:

United Nations Enable on Facebook

United Nations Enable on Facebook

A new Facebook page, United Nations Enable has been launched to help users of this social network find out more about the work of the United Nations for persons with disabilities.

To browse: