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U.N. Economists See World Slowdown--Except in Asia

From United Press International

United Nations economists today predicted a general world economic slowdown, except in Asia, for 1989 after last year’s rapid growth in production and trade.

The latest U.N. World Economic Survey said there will be a decline in Latin America, stagnation in Africa but “strong expansion” in Asia.

Prepared for the annual session of the U.N. Economic and Social Council beginning today, the survey predicted global growth of about 3.5% this year contrasted with 4.3% in 1988.

Per capita income, it said, continues to rise in advanced countries at three times the rate for Third World nations.

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“Output once again grew less rapidly than population in Africa, Latin America and West Asia,” the report noted.

The debt crisis of the developing countries also “continues unabated” with a net transfer of financial resources from the Third World to the richer nations reaching a record $33 billion last year, the survey said.

“The indebted countries continue to suffer from an acute shortage of resources for essential imports and domestic investment, resulting in socioeconomic deterioration,” it said.

“In contrast, the United States absorbed $128 billion in net financial transfer from the rest of the world,” the U.N. survey said.

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The blame for high interest rates was placed mainly on the U.S. fiscal deficit; non-fuel commodity prices rose 18% last year but still were 30% below the 1979-1981 average.


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