WORLD GDP is forecast to grow by 2.7% in 2016, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (in 2015 the economy is estimated to have expanded by 2.4%). This moderate outlook reflects the fact growth is still lacklustre in the euro area, Japan and emerging market economies as a whole. The picture is particularly gloomy for commodity-exporting nations such as Venezuela, which is in deep economic recession. The outlook for Brazil is far from positive too, where falling oil prices combined with the implications of the Petrobras scandal will affect investment in oil and gas. War-torn countries also feature in the projected worst performers of 2016. Libya’s GDP has been contracting since 2013; continued conflict and political uncertainty means that it will continue to shrink this year. There are a few bright spots however. Although GDP growth in Turkmenistan is slowing, the construction of a new branch of the Central Asia-China gas pipeline should help to support exports. A scattering of emerging Asian countries make a notable appearance in the top-ten: growth in the region is buoyed by rising private consumption, and in particular a revitalised tourism sector in Laos.