Dun & Bradstreet has updated its Global Economic Outlook to 2018, including regional insights, updates and downgrades based on its assessments of 132 countries.

Economy continues to disappoint, but staggers forward

Despite half a decade passing since the official end of the 2008-09 recession, the recovery is the most protracted in the past century.

D&B expects growth to remain below long-term trends through the end of this decade. Between 2000 and 2007, real global GDP averaged 3.7 percent per year (at market prices), compared with an average 2 percent per year between 2009 and 2014. D&B forecasts real global growth of 2.3 percent in 2014, lower than the historically weak 2.4 percent achieved in 2013. Worryingly for international companies, the risks associated with doing cross-border business in the global economy still remain elevated.

To put this into context, of the 132 countries D&B assesses, 93 now rate worse than at the start of 2008; 56 rate at least three quartiles lower. In contrast, only 16 economies have seen their scores improve over this period, and only two are rated more than two quartiles better. D&B upgraded more countries than downgraded between January and the start of November 2014, a sign that conditions are easing slightly, however, this far into the recovery D&B expected to upgrade significantly more.

Full report (PDF)