A new report from a United Nations agency says this is a worrying time for the global economy. The UN's Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, says the weak performance of the last two years will probably continue. It raises concerns about market-driven approaches to policy in the developing world. This report from Andrew Walker, BBC Economics Correspondent:
The tone of this report is significantly more downbeat than the recent assessment published by the International Monetary Fund. Where the IMF spoke of global recovery - with risks that things might turn out worse - UNCTAD dwells on the causes for concern.
The IMF identifies stronger economic growth in the United States in recent months. The UNCTAD report worries that consumer spending there might be losing momentum.
The report also says there's a need for a rethink of what it calls the market-driven approach to globalisation.
For the past two decades, it says, the approach in many developing countries of eliminating inflation and reducing the size of the public sector has often undermined growth and hampered technological progress.
It says that industrial progress has halted in much of the developing world. African and Latin American economies have shifted away from sectors with the greatest potential for higher productivity towards production and processing of raw materials.
And the report is doubtful about whether what it calls a second generation of neo-liberal reforms can get developing economies back on track.
UNCTAD's Secretary General Reubens Ricupero called for a move away from generalised approaches to one that accommodates the diversity of conditions in the developing world.
slowing down; here meaning the rate at which US customers spend money may be beginning to fall
there is a need for a rethink
it is necessary to think again about something
the market-driven approach
in market economies, prices of good and services are decided by supply - how much of them there are; and by demand - how many people want to buy them. There is less of a role for the state in the production and pricing of goods and services; and typically governments concentrate on reducing inflation and encouraging privatisation of state-owned industries
made economic success less likely
hampered technological progress
made it difficult for improvements in technology
shifted away from sectors with the greatest potential
moved away from particular parts of the country's economy or industries that promise success
production and processing of raw materials
making (often growing or mining) things in their natural state and changing them to create other products
a second generation of neo-liberal reforms
a new set of changes or improvements, based on a modern version of liberalism, the belief that people should have a lot of political and individual freedom
accommodates the diversity of conditions
takes into account the many different situations or circumstances