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World Bank cuts annual global growth forecast, blaming Ukraine war, inflation

The World Bank cut its annual global growth forecast for 2022 from 4.1 percent to 3.2 percent on Monday, as record levels of inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine continue to impact the world's economic prospects, CNBC reports.

The single largest factor in the reduced growth forecast was a projected contraction of 4.1 percent across Europe and Central Asia, World Bank President David Malpass told reporters, per Reuters. The region in question comprises both Ukraine and Russia.

Malpass also cited higher food and fuel costs in developed countries — developments both exacerbated in part by Russia's invasion — as factors in the economic slowdown. Western sanctions on Russian energy imports have "driven up the price of oil and gas worldwide," while disruptions to Ukraine's agricultural exports have done the same for food, CNBC writes.

The revised projection, down almost a full percentage point, arrives as global policymakers gather in Washington, D.C. this week for spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, The New York Times reports.

"We begin this spring meeting facing severe overlapping crisis," Malpass told reporters, per the Times. "There's COVID, inflation, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine."

Such disruptions are also expected to cause a surge in global poverty rates, Malpass said.

Prior to the war, "analysts had predicted that Ukraine's GDP would rise sharply in the coming years," CNBC writes. Now both the Russi and Ukrainian economies are expected to take major hits.