World Bank forecasts 4% global growth for 2021

Officials at the World Bank are cautiously optimistic for the global economy this year. They say the resumption of activity from the pandemic should help achieve growth of 4 percent.

The latest prediction is a turnaround from the grim outlook for last year, when the estimate is for a contraction of around 4.3 percent.

China is seen to be the biggest contributor to the recovery. The World Bank expects the Chinese economy will expand 7.9 percent, up sharply from last year's 2 percent.

The bank predicts the eurozone will grow 3.6 percent and the US 3.5 percent. Growth for Japan is projected at 2.5 percent. All economies will be recovering from negative territory.

However bank officials stress the need for the international community to contain the coronavirus. They say failure to do so could lead to a "severe downside scenario", with the global economy shrinking again this year by 0.7 percent.

They warn the outlook remains unclear, citing risks including whether vaccine production and distribution will proceed as planned.