By the beginning of 2009 it was clear that the global economy was facing a major recession. Several of the leading economies were already in recession and the question was how deep the recession would be and how long it would persist, and whether the world could avoid something still worse, the kind of depression which the United States experienced in the 1930s or Japan in the 1990s. The IMF report published in January 2009 predicted that the recession for the advanced economies was likely to be the worst since the 1930s, with a drop in output of 2 per cent (see Table 2.1).
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