The World Bank warned developing countries on Wednesday to prepare for the "real" risk that an escalation in the euro area debt crisis could tip the world into a slump on a par with the global downturn in 2008/09.
In a report sharply cutting its world economic growth expectations, the World Bank said Europe was probably already in recession. If the euro area debt crisis deepened, global economic forecasts would be significantly lower.
"The sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone appears to be contained," Justin Lin, the chief economist for the World Bank, told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday.
"However, the risk of a global freezing-up of the markets and as well as a global crisis similar to what happened in September 2008 are real."
The World Bank predicted world economic growth of 2.5pc in 2012 and 3.1pc in 2013, well below the 3.6pc growth for each year projected in June.
"We think it is now important to think through not only slower growth but sharp deteriorations, as a prudent measure," said Hans Timmer, director of development prospects at the bank. Read More