Washington: Cutting his forecast for global growth, the World Bank said rising food and fuel prices are taking the wind out of global economy's recovery this year.

The Bank projected global growth will only be 3.2 percent in 2011, a 10th point lower than its January estimate and sharply off the 3.8 percent of 2010.

The Washington-based development lender expected in its biannual Global Economic Prospects report that the world economy would rebound in 2012.

"But further increase in already high oil and food prices could notably curb economic growth and hurt the poor," said Justin Lin, the Bank's chief economist.

High-income countries during 2008-2009 global financial crisis were still struggling to recover. Growth would slow from 2.7 percent in 2010 to 2.2 percent in 2011, slower than the previous 2.4 percent estimate.

The rich countries "have the largest amount of restructuring to do," said Andrew Burns, lead author of the report, at a news conference at the Bank's Washington headquarters on Tuesday.

Burns said the US was in "a growth pause" but a double -dip recession was "not likely" - echoing US President Barack Obama's statement earlier on Tuesday that he was "not concerned about a double-dip recession."

The world's biggest economy was expected to grow at a a feeble rate of 2.6 percent this year and accelerate to 2.9 percent in 2012, the Bank said.

Japan's March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster and unrest in the Arab world, while cutting sharply into domestic growth, would make only a modest dent in global growth, the 187-nation institution said.

The disaster interrupted Japan's supplies of key parts and materials to global industries, especially the auto and electronics industries, while political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa region affected those economies and pushed oil prices higher.

Libyan oil output, which has dwindled to a trickle amid a pro-democracy revolt,accounted for about USD15 to USD20 of the roughly USD30 increase in oil prices from December to their February peak, Burns said.

The recovery in Europe continues to face "substantial headwinds" from uncertainty about debt crises in several eurozone members. The 17-nation eurozone is expected to expand at the pace of 2010 of 1.7 percent this year, with growth only edging up to 1.8 percent in 2012.

By contrast, developing countries relatively sailed through the global downturn, providing the impetus for the global recovery.

But at the same time their robust growth was creating the demand for commodities that has spurred prices higher.

(Agencies)