David Malpass, chief of the World Bank. has warned that Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine could cause a global recession as the price of food, energy and fertiliser jump.
He made the remarks while addressing a US business event on Wednesday, the BBC reported.
“As we look at the global GDP, it’s hard right now to see how we avoid a recession… The idea of energy prices doubling is enough to trigger a recession by itself,” he said in the latest warning over the rising risk that the world economy may be set to contract.
Last month, the World Bank cut its global economic growth forecast for this year by almost a full percentage point, to 3.2 per cent.
Malpass also said that many European countries were still too dependent on Russia for oil and gas.
That’s even as Western nations push ahead with plans to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.
He also told a virtual event organised by the US Chamber of Commerce that moves by Russia to cut gas supplies could cause a “substantial slowdown” in the region.
He said higher energy prices were already weighing on Germany, which is the biggest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, the BBC reported.
Developing countries are also being affected by shortages of fertiliser, food and energy, the World Bank head added.
Malpass also raised concerns about lockdowns in some of China’s major cities. including the financial, manufacturing and shipping hub of Shanghai, which he said are “still having ramifications or slowdown impacts on the world”.
“China was already going through some contraction of real estate, so the forecast of China’s growth before Russia’s invasion had already softened substantially for 2022,” he said.
“Then the waves of Covid caused lockdowns which further reduced growth expectations for China.”