“For many countries, recession will be hard to avoid.”

That was the decidedly downbeat economic assessment issued Tuesday by David Malpass, president of the World Bank.

As economies around the globe struggle with inflation, shortages and pandemic challenges, the World Bank is warning that things probably will get worse before they get better.

The bank is forecasting global growth slowing to 2.9% this year from 5.7% last year.

Mind you, a recession isn’t necessarily a kick in the teeth. In economic terms, it simply means an economy has contracted for two quarters in a row.

There have been numerous mild recessions that quickly faded away. But there also have been really nasty ones, like the recession that socked the world in 2008 as the global financial system teetered on the brink of catastrophe.

The World Bank is projecting 2.5% growth for the United States and Europe this year — not great but not too bad.

Russia’s economy will shrink by 8.9% as the country pursues its hostile takeover of Ukraine, the bank says.

So-called emerging nations — we used to call them the developing world — will be hardest hit. They’ll become poorer.

Oil-producing nations, meanwhile, probably will do just fine, thank you very much. Oil is going for more than $100 a barrel and there’s no respite in sight.

Again, a recession isn’t necessarily like being economically mugged. It could be more like being bumped in a crowd.

But whatever is coming, the World Bank says it’s more likely than ever that it’ll arrive.