Christine Lagarde
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned of emerging economies slumpReuters

Emerging economies are growing at the slowest rate since 2009, as a strong dollar and weak commodity prices curtail developing nations' prospects for economic growth.

New figures from three research companies have predicted a prolonged slump across emerging markets including Brazil and Russia, which rely heavily on commodity exports to generate foreign exchange revenues.

The ongoing strength of the dollar has accelerated capital outflows in some emerging Asian economies, including China and South Korea, and analysts expect that trend to continue.

Capital Economics has estimated that average economic growth in emerging markets would decline to 4% in the first quarter of the year, compared with the same period in 2014.

If that were the case, it would be the lowest growth level since the final three months of 2009, when emerging markets were caught in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Other analyst groups have predicted a slowdown in growth to less than 5% in the first quarter of this year.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde warned the global economy was about to enter a period of low growth, high debt and high unemployment if political and economic leaders did not alter course.

"Today, we must prevent that new mediocre from becoming the new reality," Lagarde said in a speech at the Atlantic Council. "All policy space and levers must be utilised," she said.