UNCTAD calls for global action to spur growth by reducing global inequality

The United Nations trade body called on Wednesday for global growth to be revived by reducing inequalities between countries and for top central banks to play a bigger role in stabilising the world economy.

In its 2023 Trade and Development Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that growing inequalities among countries were contributing to weak global demand and limiting investment and growth.

“There is no clear driving force to propel the world economy onto a robust and sustainable recovery track,” it said.

In a statement accompanying the report, UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said there was a need for a balanced policy mix of fiscal, monetary and supply-side measures to achieve financial sustainability and boost investment.

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The United Nations flag is seen during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, on Sept. 24, 2019.  (REUTERS/Yana Paskova/File Photo)

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“Regulation needs to address the deepening asymmetries of the international trading and financial system,” she said.

UNCTAD said world economic growth was projected to slow from 3% in 2022 to 2.4% this year, with few signs of a rebound in 2024.

To counter stalling growth, the report recommends that the reduction of inequality be made a policy priority in developed and developing countries. It said central banks should play a stronger role in stabilizing the economy and that debt systems should ensure reliable access to liquidity to achieve this objective.

“In light of growing interdependencies in the global economy, central bankers should assume a wider stabilizing function, which would help balance the priorities of monetary stability with long-term financial sustainability,” the report said.

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