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"The growth performance in mature economies will improve in 2014, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet." After a disappointing 2013, hampered by corporate hesitancy and political paralysis, the global economy could use clear direction and stability, but that’s not happening. Yet things will look somewhat brighter in the mature economies, especially in the United States, projects Bart van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board. It’s the rest of the world—those countries whose rapid growth has driven the global economy—that are looking a little shaky going forward.