The current corporate publications that are World Bank Group flagships are: World Development Report (WDR); Global Economic Prospects (GEP), Doing Business (DB), and Poverty and Shared Prosperity (PSP). All go through a formal Bank-wide review and are discussed with the Board prior to their release. In terms of branding, the phrase “A World Bank Group Flagship Report” will be used exclusively on the cover of these publications. This label will signal that the institution assumes a higher level of responsibility for the positions held by these reports. The flagship Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is no longer produced. The flagship Doing Business is no longer produced.
Doing Business 2020 is the 17th in a series of annual studies investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. It provides quantitative indicators covering 12 areas of the business environment in 190 economies. The goal of the Doing Business series is to provide objective data for use by governments in designing sound business regulatory policies and to encourage research on the important dimensions of the regulatory environment for firms.
The global financial crisis is no longer the major force dictating the pace of economic activity in developing countries. The majorities of developing countries has, or are close to having regained full-capacity activity levels. As a result, country-specific productivity and sartorial factors are now the dominant factors underpinning growth. Macroeconomic policy in developing countries needs to turn toward medium-term productivity enhancements, managing inflationary pressures re-establishing the fiscal and monetary cushions that allowed most developing countries to come through the crisis so well. In contrast, activity in high income and some developing European countries continues to struggle with crisis-related problems, including banking-sector, fiscal and household restructuring. The remainder of this report is organized as follows. The next section discusses recent developments in global production, trade, inflation, and financial markets, and presents updates of the World Bank's forecast for the global economy and developing countries. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of some of the risks and tensions in the current environment, and a short section of concluding remarks. Several annexes address regional and sartorial issues in much greater detail.
Economic activity in most developing countries has, or is close to having, recovered. Supported by resurgence in international and domestic financial flows and higher commodity prices, most of the spare capacity in developing countries that was created by the crisis has been reabsorbed, and developing countries have regained trend growth rates close to those observed in the pre-crisis period. The remainder of this report is organized as follows. The next section discusses recent developments in global production, trade, and financial markets, and presents updates of the World Bank's forecast for the global economy and developing countries. The global economy is transitioning from the bounce-back phase of the recovery toward a period of slower but more sustainable growth. Growth in most developing countries is increasingly running into capacity constraints, while in high-income and developing Europe and Central Asia growth is hampered by the concentrated nature of slack and ongoing restructuring. In this environment, policy needs to be moving away from short-term demand stimulus toward measures that generate additional employment by enhancing the supply potential of economies. The global policy environment has become highly charged and uncertain, and presents multiple risks to prospects for developing countries. As emphasized at the recent G-20 meetings in Seoul (G-20 2010), both developing and high-income countries will need to take care to minimize the negative external consequences of their domestic policy actions. Concretely, this means that while countries must remain mindful of domestic conditions, when opportunities present themselves to pursue domestic policy objectives in a manner that support adjustment elsewhere in the global economy these should be taken up.
Market nervousness concerning the fiscal positions of several European high-income countries poses a new challenge for the world economy. This arises as the recovery is transitioning toward a more mature phase during which the influence of rebound factors (such as fiscal stimulus) fades, and gross domestic product (GDP) gains will increasingly depend on private investment and consumption. So far evolving financial developments in Europe have had limited effects on financial conditions in developing countries. Although global equity markets dropped between 8 and 17 percent, there has been little fallout on most developing-country risk premia. And despite a sharp deceleration in bond flows in May, year-to-date capital flows to developing countries during the first 5 months of 2010 are up 90 percent from the same period in 2009. The economic impact on long-term growth in developing countries of a forced pullback from growth-enhancing infrastructure and human-capital investment due to lower fiscal revenues, weaker official development assistance (ODA), and sluggish capital flows, are difficult to gauge, as are the effects on private sector growth of tighter financial sector regulations, and increased competition for capital from high-income sovereigns. Global economic prospects: crisis, finance and growth estimated that just the latter two factors could reduce developing country growth rates by between 0.2 and 0.7 percent for a period of 5 to 7 years.