Global economic growth could dip below zero for the first time in decades in 2009, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Tuesday.
"The IMF expects global growth to slow below zero this year, the worst performance in most of our lifetimes," he said at the opening of a conference in Tanzania on the impact of the world financial crisis on Africa.
"Continued deleveraging by world financial institutions, combined with a collapse in consumer and business confidence is depressing domestic demand across the world," Strauss-Kahn said.
Strauss-Kahn had said last month he expected zero growth in 2009 and his institution had released data including a 0.5 global growth forecast the month before that.
But as the crisis deepens around the world, the IMF chief said the latest projections being compiled would probably reveal negative growth for the first time in six decades.
"When we release our next package of forecasts at the spring session, that is to say in April, everything leads us to believe that it will indeed reveal a negative global growth for the first time in 60 years," he told reporters.
Strauss-Kahn said last week he saw no chance of a global recovery before 2010.