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World Bank head sees return to economic growth this year

City A.M. Reporter
The global economy may return to growth in late 2009 or in 2010, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said yesterday, while European banking officials also reported tentative signs the financial crisis could be easing.<br />&nbsp;In Asia, credit rating agency Moody&rsquo;s stripped Japan of its AAA rating on its foreign currency debt, but manufacturing and consumer sentiment edged up, keeping alive hopes the storm hitting the world&rsquo;s second largest economy might be abating.Zoellick, speaking during a trip to Warsaw, said the pace of decline in the global economy was set to slow.<br />&nbsp;&ldquo;The question is when we will return to growth in the global system and that could be late 2009 or 2010. I don&rsquo;t think this will be 2011,&rdquo; he said.<br />&nbsp;Last week, Zoellick stressed the high degree of uncertainty still colouring the outlook for the global economy. Once-booming Central and eastern Europe have been particularly hard hit by investors fleeing riskier emerging markets.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;Economists and policymakers are hopeful sharp interest rate cuts, fiscal packages and bank bailouts will succeed and that the world has probably seen the worst of the deepest recession since World War Two.