At the start of the previous decade, global trade was growing at almost 8% per year, nearly double the rate of growth in real GDP. In 2019, however, the World Trade Organisation expects trade to grow by just 2.6%. Whilst the recent eruption in protectionism has undoubtedly accelerated the slowdown, other industry-related cyclical effects are also at play.
The ongoing “war for talent” will continue to be an economic challenge for companies in all sectors. Driven by high employment rates – with more US cities now having a sub-4% unemployment rate than in 1990 – talent shortages have been identified as the top emerging risk faced by businesses worldwide.
The global political landscape has shifted in the last decade, with signs of more to come in 2020. Years of wealth inequality and stagnating wages have contributed to a rise in populism, catalysed by information transfer on social media platforms. The growing chasm between the “haves” and “have-nots” exacerbates the issue, with political power increasingly swinging to the extremes.
Our Political and Economic Outlook report for 2020 also further examines political fragmentation and instability in Europe – as well as its economic consequences.