DESA News Vol. 12, No. 06 June 2008

Publications and websites

Technical report

World Economic Situation and Prospects as of Mid-2008World Economic Situation and Prospects as of Mid-2008

In the wake of global financial turmoil, the mid-year update of the World Economic Situation and Prospects forecasts a deeper downturn in the global economy in 2008 and warns that in the absence of aggressive and coordinated expansionary policies a more severe contraction will occur, which could trigger a disorderly unwinding of the massive global imbalances and have drastic implications for global trade and finance. The report also discusses the steep rise in food and energy costs and warns against the social and political risks associated with the unfolding food crisis.

To address the economic malaise, the report recommends a multilaterally coordinated stimulus package centered on the expansion of domestic demand in surplus countries, while staying within existing fiscal capacity; deep reforms in mechanisms of international financial regulation and supervision; and meeting emergency food needs, while setting longer term strategies for alleviating supply constraints and improving food security.

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Outreach material

Trends in Sustainable Development 2008-2009Trends in Sustainable Development 2008-2009

Efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security in developing countries are hampered by declining support for strong agricultural growth, long considered a hallmark of successful poverty reduction strategies. Strong agricultural growth is four times more effective than growth in other sectors in benefiting the poorest half of the population, the report finds. However, while many developing countries have posted gains in agricultural production, distribution and exports, people living in areas of high inequality and in isolation from the broader economy typically benefit little from them.

This title highlights recent trends in agriculture, rural development, land, desertification and drought – five of the six themes being considered by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its 16th and 17th sessions, in 2008 and 2009.

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Trends in Sustainable Development: Africa Report 2008-2009Trends in Sustainable Development: Africa Report 2008-2009

Since 2000, Africa has enjoyed faster economic growth than for several decades thanks in part to improved economic management and strong global demand for key export commodities. This publication notes that, despite such success, achieving the Millennium Development Goals remains a challenge for sub-Saharan Africa due to widespread poverty.

The report was launched at the 16th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, which tackled pressing issues such as agriculture, drought, and desertification that impact many rural African economies.

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Innovation for Sustainable Development: Local Case Studies from AfricaInnovation for Sustainable Development: Local Case Studies from Africa

Africa faces daunting sustainable development challenges in coming decades, but also significant opportunities. The period since the beginning of this new millennium has been one of the strongest economic performance on the continent. This volume aims to highlight many exciting innovations for sustainable development in Africa at the local level. It also begins to assess the scope of scaling up these innovations to make an impact on a larger scale. This title is based on a fruitful dialogue between the UN Secretariat and development practitioners in Africa.

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UNPAN UpgradeUNPAN Upgrade

The UN Online Network in Public Administration and Finance has undergone a visual transformation making it easier to navigate and more engaging. New features include document ranking, enhanced subject trees, a focus on e-learning, simplified user registration and networking.

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Global Economic OutlookGlobal Economic Outlook

UN global economic outlook data, produced by DESA’s Development Policy and Analysis Division, are now available online for free. The data series span the time period 2000-2008, based on official national sources and on forecasts generated within Project LINK. Series at the regional level include trade in goods in values and volumes, as well as GDP growth and CPI-inflation. At the country level, GDP growth and CPI-inflation are available.

Supplementary tables provide the complete set of historical and forecast data as given in the annex of the most recent edition of the World Economic Situation and Prospects. Data series at the regional and country level include GDP growth, CPI-inflation, unemployment, selected financial indicators, as well as trade and financial flows, among others.

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Monthly Bulletin of Statistics OnlineMonthly Bulletin of Statistics Online

MBS provides 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.

MBS Online presents the full content of the most recent issue of the printed version and is available at the beginning of each month. The online service includes data from volume LXII, no. 3 of March 2008 (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/423), and no. 4 of April 2008 (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.Q/424). Print editions forthcoming.

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