THE World Bank has forecast Namibia's GDP to grow at 4,4% in 2015 and retaining the same 4,4% growth in 2016. The bank's forecast for the country's GDP for 2014 is 4,3% compared to 4,2% in 2013. The forecast is contained in the World Bank's newly released Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report. Economic growth picked up in Sub Saharan Africa in 2013, supported by strong domestic demand, notably resource-based investments. Real GDP for the region grew an estimated 4,7%; excluding South Africa , its largest economy, where growth was higher at six percent. Foreign direct investments continued to flow in the region, not only in the oil, gas and mining sectors but also in non-extractive industries. Net Foreign Direct Investment flows were an estimated US$43 billion in 2013, up from US$37 billion in 2012. The bank said world economy is projected to strengthen this year, with growth picking up in developing countries and high-income economies appearing to be finally turning the corner five years after the global financial crisis. The firming of growth in developing countries is being bolstered by an acceleration in high income countries and continued strong growth in China . However, growth prospects remain vulnerable to headwinds from rising global interest rates and potential volatility in capital flows, as the United States Federal Reserve Bank begins withdrawing its massive monetary stimulus, the report said. "Growth appears to be strengthening in both high-income and developing countries, but downside risks continue to threaten the global economic recovery," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim . Global GDP growth is projected to firm from 2,4% in 2013 to 3,2% this year, stabilising at 3,4% and 3,5% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, with much of the initial acceleration reflecting stronger growth in high-income economies. Growth in developing countries will pick up from 4,8% in 2013 to a slower than previously expected 5,3% this year, 5,5% in 2015 and 5,7% in 2016. While the pace is about 2,2 percentage points lower than during the boom period of 2003 -07, the slower growth is not a cause for concern, the bank said. "Almost all of the difference reflects a cooling off of the unsustainable turbo-charged pre-crisis growth, with very little due to an easing of growth potential in developing countries. Moreover, even this slower growth represents a substantial (60%) improvement compared with growth in the 1980s and early 1990s," the bank said. For high-income countries, the drag on growth from fiscal consolidation and policy uncertainty will ease, helping to boost economic growth from 1,3% in 2013 to 2,2% this year, stabilising at 2,4% for each of 2015 and 2016. Amongst high-income economies, the recovery is most advanced in the US, with GDP expanding for 10 quarters now. The US economy is projected to grow by 2,8% this year (from 1,8% in 2013), firming to 2,9 and three percent in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Growth in the Euro Area, after two years of contraction, is projected to be 1,1% this year, and 1,4% and 1,5% in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
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