UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations lowered its forecast for the world economy Thursday, painting a bleak picture of stagnating growth with little prospect for a turnaround this year.

The U.N. report on the World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2016 forecasts overall global growth of just 2.4 percent this year, the same as last year. It represents a significant drop from the 2.9 percent growth the U.N. forecast for this year in its report last December.

“The bleak state of the world economy clearly poses significant challenges for member states around the world,” Assistant Secretary-General Lenni Montiel told a news conference where the report was released.

He said forecasts for many countries in Africa and Latin America as well as for Russia and many of the former Soviet republics have been revised downward over the past few months.

The report blames a host of factors for this year’s lackluster economic prospects, including persistent weak demand in the major economies that remains a drag on global growth, the low price of oil and other commodities that is hurting exporting countries, weather-related shocks such as severe drought related to El Nino, political challenges, and large capital outflows in many developing regions.

Dawn Holland, a senior economist in the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said the 2.4 percent growth predicted for this year is 1 percentage point lower than the average annual rate of growth of 3.4 percent in the decade leading up to the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. It reflects the weak global economy for most of the past decade, she said.

Monteil stressed that for the world economy to grow it needs increased investment and greater fiscal stimulus coordinated by the major economies, which have relied for too long only on monetary stimulus like interest rates.

Holland said so far there are no proposals for coordinated fiscal stimulus measures, but the issue will be discussed at the upcoming summit of the Group of Seven major industrial powers in Japan on May 26-27.