The industrial countries of the world, coming off their best economic performance since 1976, will enjoy moderate--if unspectacular--growth this year and in 1986, the International Monetary Fund predicted Monday.
In its annual assessment of world economic prospects, the IMF staff forecast economic growth in the industrial countries of 3.1% in 1985 and 3% in 1986. That compares to growth of 2.6% in 1983 and 4.9% in 1984, the best performance since 1976.
The growth this year and next will come despite the fact that unemployment levels in Western Europe remain at record postwar levels and that the United States is running huge government budget deficits, the IMF said.
In developing countries, the IMF forecast a “modest acceleration” in economic growth this year but pointed out that the recovery in these countries has been very uneven.
Many African countries, hard hit by drought and starvation, have had economic growth rates well below the increase in their population levels, meaning that the standard of living in these countries has declined substantially.
For all developing countries, the rate of growth will be 4% this year and 4.5% in 1986, following growth last year of 3.7%.