World Bank’s Gill worried about ‘generalized stagflation’ in global economy

World Bank Chief Economist Indermit Gill on Thursday said he was concerned about “generalized stagflation,” a period of low growth and high inflation, in the global economy, noting the bank had pared back forecasts for three-fourths of all countries.

Gill, who took over his new role on Sept. 1, told reporters at a briefing in Washington that the war in Ukraine and the spillover effects had changed the outlook significantly.

“Six months ago we were really concerned about a slowing recovery and very high prices of some commodities, and now I think we are much more concerned about a generalized stagflation, which brings back really bad memories of the mid-1970s and the lost decades,” he said.

Gill said the current world was more polarized, a growing number of middle-income countries were running into trouble, and many countries were saddled with high debts.

The current situation has brought the “glory days” of reducing poverty worldwide from around 1990 to 2021 to a halt, he said. “Poverty reduction has dropped.”