World Bank President Says War In Ukraine Could Trigger Global Recession
World Bank President David Malpass (YouTube screenshot)

JAKARTA - World Bank President David Malpass said on Wednesday that Russia's war in Ukraine, which has an impact on food and energy prices, as well as the availability of fertilizers, could trigger a global recession.

Malpass said at an event hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce that Germany's economy, the world's fourth largest, had slowed substantially due to higher energy prices, and said a reduction in fertilizer production could worsen conditions elsewhere.

"When we look at global GDP ... it's hard now to see how we avoid a recession," Malpass said. He did not give any specific predictions.

He said the Ukrainian and Russian economies were both expected to experience significant contractions, while Europe, China and the United States experienced slower growth.

Developing countries are getting hit harder by shortages of fertilizers and food stocks and energy supplies, he said.

"The idea of doubling energy prices is enough to trigger a recession on its own," he said.

In China, he said the relatively sharp slowdown in growth was based on the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and a pre-existing real estate crisis facing the country.

The World Bank last month cut its global growth forecast for 2022 by almost a full percentage point, to 3.2 percent from 4.1 percent, due to the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Malpass did not provide details on when the global recession could start.

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