Geopolitical Tensions to Undermine Global Economic Stability in 2024, Economists Warn

The World Economic Forum’s latest survey reveals a concerning forecast for the global economy, predicting a weakening growth trajectory in 2024, primarily due to increasing geopolitical tensions and uncertainty.

Key Points:

  • A significant majority of economists anticipate a downturn in global economic conditions this year.
  • Geopolitical developments are expected to increase global economic volatility and affect stock markets.
  • The International Monetary Fund forecasts a slight decrease in global economic growth to 2.9% in 2024.

The Current Economic Landscape

According to the World Economic Forum’s recent report, the global economy is entering a phase marked by subdued prospects and heightened uncertainty. While there are positive developments like easing inflation and advancements in AI, persistent challenges such as slow economic activity, tight financial conditions, and growing geopolitical and social strains are major concerns.

Regional Economic Forecasts

The survey, involving 30 chief economists, indicates a bearish outlook for Europe, with 77% expecting weaker growth in the region. This sentiment marks a notable increase from previous surveys. Similarly, the outlook for the United States has turned more negative, with only 56% of economists now expecting moderate or higher growth, a decrease from the previous survey’s 78%.

Geopolitical Tensions and Economic Impact

Geopolitical rifts are a primary concern for economists, with 69% expecting an acceleration in geopolitical fragmentation in 2024. These tensions, exemplified by the ongoing war in Ukraine, strained China-U.S. relations, and conflicts in the Middle East, are seen as significant drivers of economic volatility. Notably, 87% of respondents anticipate these developments will contribute to global economic volatility over the next three years, with a similar percentage expecting increased volatility in stock markets. This consensus highlights the interconnected nature of geopolitical events and economic stability.

Election Year Dynamics

The year 2024 also marks a significant period politically, with over 75 countries, including major economies like the U.S. and U.K., heading to elections. This unprecedented number of elections could further influence the global economic landscape, adding to the existing geopolitical and economic complexities.

On a positive note, the survey indicates a general easing of inflation expectations. About 70% of the economists anticipate a loosening of financial conditions. Although two-thirds still expect moderate inflation in regions like Europe and the U.S., the overall trend suggests an improvement from previously high inflation rates.

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