The International Monetary Fund has warned that central banks around the world are failing to stop deflation.
Its half-yearly World Economic Outlook says that urgent action is needed to reverse a slowdown in global trade, and to break a pattern of low growth, low job creation and high debts.
The gloomy report adds that a wave of protectionist policies since 2012 have led to a fall-off in international trade.
This comes after the World Trade Organisation cut its forecast for global trade growth in 2016 by more than a third.
This would be the lowest growth rate since the onset of the global economic crisis.