The continued recovery of the world economy resulted in unusually widespread growth in 2004, but a modest slowdown in all regions is expected in 2005, according to projections contained in World Economic Situation and Prospects 2005 (WESP 2005). Developing countries grew at the fastest rate in two decades in 2004. In addition to the stimulus provided by the United States, China is making an increasing contribution to global economic growth. Its rapid expansion has contributed to increased global demand for oil and many non-oil commodities, with the higher prices for the latter being of particular benefit to several countries in Africa and Latin America. Overall, prospects continue to be good, but the global imbalances pose a potential threat, to which a global response is required.