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World economy to grow 5.6 percent, the highest level since 1973

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Business > World economy to grow 5.6 percent, the highest level since 1973

The World Bank is upgrading the outlook for global growth this year, predicting that COVID-19 vaccinations and massive government stimulus in rich countries will power the fastest worldwide expansion in nearly five decades.

In its latest Global Economic Prospects report, out Tuesday, the 189-country anti-poverty agency forecasts that the world economy will grow 5.6 percent this year, up from the 4.1 percent it forecast in January. The global economy last year shrank 3.5 percent as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted trade and forced businesses to close and people to stay home.

The projected expansion would make 2021 the fastest year of growth since 1973’s 6.6 percent.

But the 2021 rebound will be uneven, the bank predicts, led by rich countries such as the United States that could afford to spend vast amounts of taxpayer money to support their economies: 90 percent of advanced economies are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels next year — measured by income per person — versus just a third of developing countries.

Increased COVID vaccination has reinvigorated the world economy.Getty Images

The World Bank is calling for wider distribution of COVID vaccines to low-income countries, where inoculations have gone slowly.

The bank expects the US economy