We have witnessed a remarkable shift in economic trends over the past years. Issues such as current account imbalances, misaligned exchange rates, volatile capital flows and the financialization of commodity markets resulted in a severe crisis that affected all countries. As debate continues to rage about the relevant monetary, fiscal and income policies to address the continuing fallout from the crisis, the international community is falling short on delivering solutions to the long-standing challenges of poverty, food security, debt burden and climate change.
A lesson learned over the past few years is that the only way the world can hope to recover from recession is by ensuring a predictable financial system in line with the rules-based multilateral trading system that strives to meet long-term development goals. That is why UNCTAD is calling for urgent measures to strengthen the shift in the economic paradigm for global governance from a finance-centred one to development-centred one.
This 2012 edition of Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures highlights the latest available statistics depicting the current state of the world economy, with expert comments on their empirical implications. We have focused on pivotal themes that best illustrate the interface of trade and related economic development issues, in particular macroeconomic and financial indicators, as well as those relevant to policymaking in the area of fiscal and incomes policy. Those researchers and policymakers seeking a better understanding of the factors underlying the global slowdown will find the empirical information they need to better appreciate how unrestrained globalization and excessive financialization have overwhelmed the real economy over the past decades.
This quadrennial publication caters to specialists and the general public. Well-designed statistical graphs and tables, and a glossary of the main economic and statistical concepts offer our broad readership practical tools for a better understanding of development trends and their evolution over time.
Secretary-General of UNCTAD