World to grow by 3.3-pct, Asia 9.6-pct in 2008: World Bank

WASHINGTON, Jan 8, 2008 (AFP) – The global economy is expected to slow to a modest 3.3 percent growth pace this year, but the pace could worsen if the United States slips into recession, the World Bank said Tuesday.

Despite financial turmoil unleashed by a meltdown in the US mortgage market, global growth slowed in 2007 to 3.6 percent from 3.9 percent rate in 2006, the Bank said in a report titled “Global Economic Prospects 2008.”

Most of the 2007 slowdown was due to weaker growth in high-income countries. Developing countries cushioned the blow with robust 7.4 percent growth, virtually unchanged from 2006.

The Bank said the slowdown in the United States, the world’s largest economy, is being partly offset by the resilience of developing countries, which have powered through four consecutive years of record expansion.

After modest growth of 3.3 percent in 2008, global output should expand by 3.6 percent in 2009 as the US economy rebounds, the report said.

US economic growth is expected to have slowed to 2.2 percent in 2007, from 2.9 percent. The Bank forecast a 1.9 percent expansion in 2008, then a rise to 2.3 percent in 2009.

The authors of the 2008 report highlighted the current “peri