World Bank says global economy will shrink in 2009

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The World Bank predicts the global economy will shrink this year for the first time since World War II, and sees trade at its lowest point in 80 years.


The World Bank also said Sunday the growing global financial crisis will create a multibillion-dollar financing shortfall for poor and developing nations.

A group of 129 countries face a shortfall of $270 to $700 billion this year, the World Bank says. It warns international financial institutions will not be able to cover even the low end of that estimate.

The bank said only one-quarter of the vulnerable countries will be able to ease the impact of the economic downturn through job creation or "safety net" programs.

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