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The year 2009 is forecasted to post the slowest rate of growth—minus 2.7 percent—for the United States since World War II. The global economy has also shown signs of further weakening, including significant downward adjustments to growth forecasts for Europe, Japan, and the emerging economies. Despite this slowdown, productivity will remain an important source of present and future growth. This issue of StraightTalk contains the latest annual estimates by The Conference Board of productivity for both the global economy and the major individual economies.