The global economy could decline for the first time since World War II, according to a report from the World Bank.
Economic growth could be 5 percentage points below, the bank predicted in a report prepared for this weekend's meetings of the finance ministers of the leading industrial countries.
Global industrial production declined 20% during the last three months of 2008. Production in high-income and developing nations plunged 23% and 15% respectively.
This year, overall production could be 15% less than last year.
The bank also predicted that world trade could record its largest decline in 80 years.
World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said in a statement accompanying the report that the scope of the problems demands a prompt coordinated world response.
"This global crisis needs a global solution and preventing an economic catastrophe in developing countries is important for global efforts to overcome this crisis. We need investments in safety nets, infrastructure, and small and medium size companies to create jobs and to avoid social and political unrest," he said.