The report, produced by a network of researchers from over 60 countries participating in an initiative known as Project Link, forecasts global economic growth at 2.4 per cent this year, down from 4 per cent in 2000. It blames this trend on retrenchment in major developed economies, noting that “the economy of the United States has been at the heart of the current weakness in the global economy.”As such, the report cautions that “the biggest downside risk for the global economic outlook is a deeper and more prolonged slowdown in the United States.” A recession in the US “would be transmitted to many other economies,” it warns.The report does not predict an impending recession in the US, but it notes that “growth for the first half of 2001 might well turn out to be flat.” The sharp constriction in the country’s economy is evident in statistics presented in the report, which show the growth rate dropping from 5 per cent in the second quarter of 2000 to 1 per cent by the end of that year.Introducing the report at a press conference today, Project Link founder Professor Lawrence Klein, a Nobel Laureate, said that for most of the 1990s, “the United States has been the prime mover for the world economy.” With the country’s economy now shrinking, he said Project Link experts had documented “the effect of the US slowdown on the rest of the world.”Looking to the future, Professor Klein predicted that the contraction of the US economy would not be protracted. “The slowdown will not last so long — the recovery might be gradual, but it doesn’t mean a long, drawn-out recession,” he said.Another Project Link participant, Professor Peter Pauly of the University of Toronto, said action was needed to determine the future course of the global economy. “All in all this is a challenging time after many years favourable signs all around, and it calls for quite decisive policy action to turn this from what might be a fairly prolonged growth reduction in the world economy into a short-lived experience,” he said.
The millionaire businessman who has admitted he was the mystery benefactor who donated a Rolls-Royce to Glasgow City Council said he was surprised by the furore it had caused.Boyd Tunnock, 84, boss of the eponymous confectionary firm that makes Tunnock’s Teacakes and Caramel Wafers, said he wanted the gift of his luxury car to be a “good thing”.But politicians criticised the move, with one Labour MP claiming it was“Dickensian” to have Lord Provost Eva Bolander – the first SNP politician to hold the post – driven around in a Rolls-Royce while local services were cut by “SNP austerity”.Mr Tunnok, who backed the Union in the 2014 independence referendum, said: “I have to say I’ve been a bit surprised by the reaction to this.All sorts of important people come to Glasgow and I thought it would be right to give them a nice experience.”Glasgow always had a Rolls Royce and I was able to give mine to the city so I thought, why not? “I really wanted this to be a good thing, but I didn’t want any credit for it so I asked the city to keep my name quiet, but I’m quite happy for people to know it’s me.” The Rolls-Royce Ghost, with a new price of around pounds230,000, is meant to replace one of the council’s fleet of Volkswagen Phaetons, and the authority said the gift would save it money.The car, bearing the council’s unique “G0” number-plate, will be used by the Lord Provost and other city representatives for civic duties as well as VIPs needing transportation.However, Ms Bolander used one of the VWs on Thursday to get to the reopening of the Willow Tea Rooms building in the city centre.Paul Sweeney, the MP who said it was like something out of Dickens, tweeted earlier this week: ”Nursery fees doubled and free swimming for kids the latest cuts. Auction it off to fund services for Glaswegians.”A spokesman for the local authority said: “It would clearly not be appropriate to buy a car such as this but having received it as a donation there will be occasions when it is appropriate to use it.”When she accepted the two-year-old vehicle on Tuesday, Ms Bolander said she it was a “show-stopping car and a tremendous asset”. Boyd Tunnock at the re-opening of the Willow Tea Rooms, designed by Charles Rennie MackintoshCredit:Wattie Cheung Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.