In 2016, the world economy expanded by just 2.2 per cent, the slowest rate of growth since the Great Recession of 2009. Underpinning the sluggish global economy are the feeble pace of global investment, dwindling world trade growth, flagging productivity growth and high levels of debt. World gross product is forecast to expand by 2.7 per cent in 2017 and 2.9 per cent in 2018, with this modest recovery more an indication of economic stabilization than a signal of a robust and sustained revival of global demand.
Given the close linkages between demand, investment, trade and productivity, the extended episode of weak global growth may prove self-perpetuating in the absence of concerted policy efforts to revive investment and foster a recovery in productivity. This would impede progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and creating decent work for all.