Growth in emerging market and developing economies as a whole should pick up to 4.2 per cent this year from 3.4 per cent in the year just ended amid modestly rising commodity prices. Nevertheless, the outlook is clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle, and high income countries.In emerging market and developing economies, which account for one-third of global gross domestic product (GDP) and about three-quarters of the world’s population and the world’s poor, investment growth fell to 3.4 per cent in 2015 from 10 per cent on average in 2010, and likely declined another half percentage point last year.Slowing investment growth is partly a correction from high pre-crisis levels, but also reflects obstacles to growth that emerging and developing economies have faced, including low oil prices for oil exporters, slowing foreign direct investment for commodity importers, and more broadly, private debt burdens and political risk.Commodity-exporting emerging market and developing economies are expected to expand by 2.3 per cent in 2017 after an almost negligible 0.3 per cent in 2016, as commodity prices gradually recover and as Russia and Brazil resume growing after recessions.In contrast, commodity-importing emerging market and developing economies should grow at 5.6 per cent this year, unchanged from 2016. China is projected to continue an orderly growth slowdown to a 6.5 per cent rate. However, overall prospects for emerging market and developing economies are dampened by tepid international trade, subdued investment, and weak productivity growth.Growth is projected to ease to 6.2 per cent in East Asia and the Pacific, pick up to 2.4 per cent in Europe and Central Asia, return to positive growth and expand by 1.2 per cent in Latin America and Caribbean, recover modestly to a 3.1 per cent in Middle East and North Africa, pick up modestly to 7.1 per cent in South Asia, and to 2.9 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa. President of World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim (right), visits family members who are beneficiaries of the solar home systems in Barisal District, Bangladesh. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez “After years of disappointing global growth, we are encouraged to see stronger economic prospects on the horizon,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a news release.“Now is the time to take advantage of this momentum and increase investments in infrastructure and people. This is vital to accelerating the sustainable and inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty,” he added.The World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects January 2017 said that growth in advanced economies is expected to edge up to 1.8 per cent in 2017. Growth in the United States is expected to pick up to 2.2 per cent, as manufacturing and investment growth gain traction after a weak 2016.Fiscal stimulus in major economies – particularly in the United States – could generate faster domestic and global growth than projected, although rising trade protection could have adverse effects. But because of the “outsize role the United States plays in the world economy, changes in policy direction may have global ripple effects,” added World Bank Development Economics Prospects Director Ayhan Kose.
LA RIOJA, Argentina — The U.S. will have to wait at least a few more days before clinching a berth in the 2019 Basketball World Cup.Nicolas Laprovittola scored 17 points, Lucio Redivo added 14 and Argentina shook off a slow start to beat the U.S. 80-63 in a World Cup qualifying game on Thursday night. The win put Argentina (8-1) atop Group E qualifying in the Americas region, one game up on the U.S. (7-2) with three contests remaining for both teams.The top three teams in the division are assured of a spot in the World Cup, and the Americans can clinch with a win on Sunday at Uruguay.Travis Trice scored 16 points for the U.S., which was doomed by getting outscored 31-10 over a 13-minute stretch spanning the end of the second and the entire third quarter.The Americans led 12-0 early, after Argentina missed its first 10 shots.From there, it was basically all Argentina.The U.S. lead was trimmed to 16-13 after the first quarter, and the Americans were still up 30-26 with 3 minutes left in the half before Argentina started to roll. The hosts took a 35-32 lead into the locker room, then outscored the U.S. 23-8 in the third — a run capped by Nicolas Brussino’s 3-pointer from the left corner with a second left that had the overflow crowd in an 11,000-seat arena roaring.Brussino scored 11 and former NBA standout Luis Scola had 10 for Argentina.The U.S. is using rosters filled primarily by G League players in qualifying because of changes in FIBA rules. NBA players aren’t available for the qualifying games, though if the U.S. makes it to the World Cup in China it will then be the NBA stars taking over in a quest for a third consecutive gold medal in the event, which will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics.Meanwhile, Uruguay took a big step forward in its quest to qualify from the Americas Region.Mathias Calfani’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 4.8 seconds left was part of a wild finish as Uruguay defeated Puerto Rico 64-62 in another Group E game on Thursday. Uruguay (6-3) moved into third place outright in the group, a game up on Puerto Rico (5-4).TIP-INSU.S.: The U.S. didn’t take its first free throw until 9:09 remained in the fourth quarter. … Chasson Randle, Scotty Hopson and Reggie Hearn each scored nine points for the Americans, who shot only 35 per cent and were 8 for 29 from 3-point range.Argentina: Not only did Argentina miss its first 10 shots, but it also missed its first six free throws. When Brussino finally connected with 30 seconds left in the half, the home fans responded with a sarcastic cheer. … Laprovittola had eight assists, matching the entire U.S. total for the night.IN MEMORYA moment of silence was held pregame in memory of FIBA secretary general and International Olympic Committee member Patrick Baumann, who died in Argentina last month after a heart attack.UP NEXTU.S.: Visits Uruguay on Sunday.Argentina: Hosts Mexico on Sunday.The Associated Press