On the opening day of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, two of the world's most important economic institutes have issued stark warnings about the state of the world's economy. In its latest report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the world economy is grinding to a halt as a consequence of the international financial crisis and predicted that growth would slow to just 0.5 percent this year. It is the lowest growth since the Second World War. In November, IMF economists said the world was in recession and had put global growth at 2.2 percent. A recession is defined as growth of less than 3 percent.