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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The World Bank cut its global growth forecast for the fourth straight time on Wednesday, reducing expectations by 0.2 percentage points each year for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

"Global economic growth is forecast to edge up to 2.5% in 2020 as investment and trade gradually recover from last year’s significant weakness but downward risks persist. ... U.S. growth is forecast to slow to 1.8% this year, reflecting the negative impact of earlier tariff increases and elevated uncertainty."
— World Bank statement on its Global Economic Prospects report

Zoom out: "Global growth decelerated markedly in 2019, with continued weakness in global trade and investment. ... This weakness was widespread, affecting both advanced economies — particularly the Euro Area — and emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs)," notes the report, titled Global Economic Prospects.

  • The bank also warns there's a risk of a fresh global debt crisis, with increased borrowing since 2010 leading to "the largest, fastest, and most broad-based increase in debt" among the four waves of debt buildup in the past 50 years.
"While current low levels of interest rates mitigate some of the risks associated with high debt, previous waves of broad-based debt accumulation ended with widespread financial crises. "

Why it matters: Per Axios' Dion Rabouin, this report shows the economic situation is worse than the World Bank had estimated in October, when it cut its projections for the third time.

The bottom line: Based on these projections, the global economy will likely grow slower, resulting in fewer jobs and wage increases, less new development and fewer people likely to emerge out of poverty in the future.

Read the report:

Go deeper: "A synchronized slowdown": International economic organizations lower growth forecasts

Go deeper

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Crypto meets the real world

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The two largest countries in the world seem intent on effectively banning their citizens from participating in crypto, which poses a serious threat to the crypto agenda.

Why it matters: The crypto world is global — but the real world is fragmented into nation-states, each of which claims control of what happens within its borders.

Meadows cooperating with House Jan. 6 select committee

Mark Meadows. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is cooperating with the House select committee in charge of investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, the panel said Tuesday.

Driving the news: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel earlier this month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.