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Global Development Finance 2008

Developing countries are proving to be surprisingly resilient to the economic slowdown and financial market upheaval engulfing their more advanced neighbors, with the World Bank predicting only modest declines in growth rates and investment this year. Still, the global economic environment is becoming increasingly challenging, as surging oil and food prices stoke inflation pressures and hurt the most vulnerable in their countries, the World Bank said in its annual Global Development Finance report released June 10. “There is still a very robust outlook for developing countries," Hans Timmer, co-author of the report, said in an interview with Dow Jones. “There is somewhat of a slowdown, but it's not really severe." The World Bank downgraded its 2008 world growth forecast to 2.7% from an earlier estimate of 3.3 percent in January, a marked slowdown from last year's 3.7 percent pace. The global economy is expected to recover modestly to a 3.0 percent rate in 2009.

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