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Posters in the window a a closing-down shop advertise a "Stock Liquidation" in Manchester, northern England on August 12, 2020.Paul Ellis | AFP | Getty Images

The global economy has performed better-than-expected but it is still on track for an "unprecedented" decline in output, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.

In its latest economic outlook, the OECD said the world economy will contract by 4.5% this year — an upward revision from an estimate made in June that pointed to a 6% fall in gross domestic product (GDP).

"The drop in global output in 2020 is smaller than expected, though still unprecedented in recent history," the OECD said in its report.

Going forward, the OECD expects the global economy to grow by 5% in 2021. Nonetheless, the outlook "remains exceptionally uncertain" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Critically-hit sectors, such as the travel and tourism industries, have not fully recovered from the strict lockdown measures imposed earlier this year. Many countries are grappling with a resurgence in the number of infections. As a result, authorities might introduce new restrictions in the coming weeks to contain new waves — which would add further pressure on the global economy.

"Output picked up swiftly following the easing of confinement measures and the initial re-opening of businesses, but the pace of the global recovery has lost some momentum over the summer months," the OECD said.

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The Paris-based institution, an intergovernmental body which aims to stimulate economic development, also warned of "considerable differences" across different countries.

China, the United States and the euro area are expected to perform better than originally forecast in June. In comparison, growth expectations for India, Mexico and South Africa have worsened.

China is seen growing by 1.8% in 2020 — the only country among the OECD estimates that's expected to experience growth.

By contrast, the U.S. economy is set to contract by 3.8% and the euro area by 7.9%.

The picture is even more dire for India, Argentina, the U.K., South Africa and Mexico, which are all forecast to collapse by more than 10%.



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Mississippi Using Inmate Labor to Make Repairs at Prison


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The head of Mississippi's troubled prison system told lawmakers Thursday that the Department of Corrections intends to move some inmates out of a private prison and into a state-owned facility by mid-December.

Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain said the department is spending about $1.5 million and using inmate labor to make repairs to the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility so it can be reopened. Cain said a contractor submitted a $10 million bid to do the work on the facility in Leake County.

“We don't have $10 million. We used inmate labor and so forth," Cain told members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.

He didn't provide details about the work being done at the Walnut Grove prison, which has been closed since 2016. The state has continued to pay for the debt it incurred to build the facility.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves took office in January and chose Cain to lead Mississippi's prison system, which came under a U.S. Justice Department investigation after an outbreak of violence left several inmates dead or injured in late December and early January. Because of the violence, the Department of Corrections moved hundreds of inmates out of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman to a privately run prison in Tallahatchie County.

A lawsuit funded by music mogul Jay-Z is also seeking to force the state to improve living conditions at Parchman.

The 14-member Joint Legislative Budget Committee held several hours of public hearings Thursday as part of the long process of working on a state spending plan for fiscal 2022, which will begin July 1. By mid-November, the committee will estimate how much money the state can expect to collect in taxes and fees for the coming fiscal year, and they will use that figure as the basis for allocating money to agencies and programs. Legislators rely on experts for insight about the state and national economy.

Corey Miller, an economist who works for the state's University Research Center, told legislators that because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mississippi lost about 10.5% of jobs in March and April. That compared to the loss of 14.5% of jobs in the U.S. during the same months. He said Mississippi has recovered a larger share of lost jobs than the nation as a whole.

“Mississippi's economy, in some ways, was not hit as hard by the COVID-19 recession as the U.S. economy,” Miller said.

Miller said economists predict growth for the national and state economy in coming months, but those predictions are based partly on the assumption that a coronavirus vaccine will become available.


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