- This weekly overview presents the latest news from the world of economics and finance.
- Economic Highlights: Banks predict slowing global economic growth in 2024; Japanese economy contracts more than expected; Unemployment claims in the United States are at their highest in three months.
1. Global economic growth will slow in 2024, banks say
Global economic growth will slow further in 2024 due to high interest rates, rising energy prices and a slowdown in the world’s two largest economies, several major banks say.
Global growth could slow to 2.6% next year, from 2.9% this year, according to a Reuters poll forecast. Although economists generally agree that the world will avoid falling into recession, they point to the possibility of “mild recessions” in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Six out of ten respondents surveyed during the last World Economic Forum Perspectives from Chief Economists view global economic outlook as “anemic” and expect “general conditions to weaken over the coming year.”
Despite the chances of a “soft landing” for the United States, uncertainty surrounding the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decisions makes the future difficult to predict, says Reuters. Additionally, Chinese growth is expected to weaken as companies seek more profitable production sites.
Morgan Stanley analyst James Lord said in a recent edition of his Thoughts on the Market podcast that US growth slows, but could exceed expectations in the first half of 2024. “This will contrast quite sharply with the conditions of recession or near-recession in Europe and the unconvincing growth rates in China,” he adds.
However, Goldman Sachs Research presents a more optimistic imagehighlighting the better-than-expected performance of the global economy in 2023 and the fact that GDP growth and employment have remained relatively stable in major economies facing extreme inflationary pressures.
2. The Japanese economy is contracting and the risks of recession are increasing
The Japanese economy contracted in July-September, ending a streak of two consecutive quarters of growth. This will complicate the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) plans to scale back the large financial support program it has put in place to help counter the impact of rising prices, says Reuters.
GDP fell 2.1% in the third quarter, higher than the forecast drop of 0.6%. This follows growth of 4.5% in the previous quarter.
The data highlights the impact of high prices on consumer spending and the challenges businesses face, particularly amid falling demand in China. Japanese export growth fell sharply in October due to declining semiconductor and steel exports to China.
Sluggish economic growth and concerns about prices could lead the BoJ to postpone its plans to adjust interest rates, suggests economist Takeshi Minami. “Given the absence of a growth engine, I would not be surprised if the Japanese economy contracts again in the current quarter. The risk that Japan slips into recession cannot be ruled out.”
3. Brief News: Stories about the economy from around the world
New unemployment claims in the United States reached its highest level in three months, jumping 13,000 to 231,000 in the week ending November 11. Signs of a slowing labor market should support the Federal Reserve in its ongoing fight to control inflation, says Reuters.
South Africa will become the first African country to implement shared parental leave. Both parents will be able to decide how they use the four months following the birth of a baby or the adoption of a child, according to a new High Court ruling, The Guardian reports. Previously, only mothers were allowed to take their entire period, with fathers allowed 10 days.
Argentina’s annual inflation rate will be higher than expected, according to the results of an economic survey. Analysts polled by the country’s central bank said revised its October estimate upwards from 180.7% to 185.0%. Annualized inflation for the month reached 142.7%.
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THE The US Senate avoided a government shutdown on November 15 by passing a temporary spending bill. The 87-11 vote ended the third budget impasse in a year that has already brought Washington to the brink of default on its more than $31 trillion debt.
UK inflation slowed more than expected in October as household energy costs fell. Annual consumer price inflation fell to 4.6% from 6.7% in September – the smallest increase in two years. But Britain still has the highest consumer price growth rate in the G7.
Russian families must cut spending as war in Ukraine and Western sanctions reshape the country’s economy. While the International Monetary Fund forecasts 2.2% growth for Russia this year, inflation is high and official statistics show more than 15.7 million people live below the poverty line.
High inflation and sluggish growth in Europe and the United States could lead consumers to prioritize essentials over gifts this holiday seasonwith some toy company executives forecasting a 10% to 12% drop in sales compared to 2022. But retailers will look to Black Friday as a sign of how the season could go.
4. More finance and economics on the agenda
The phrase “soft landing” has appeared in news reports and economic forecasts – but what does it mean? This explanatory sheet presents some of the economic data around the concept and asks: can we really expect a relatively painless exit from the economic crisis?
More countries are considering central bank digital currencies, but data privacy and consumer protection are a major concern. Discover whether these concerns are justified in this explanatory sheet.
As highlighted this year Global Gender Gap Reportinadequate healthcare systems are one of the main obstacles to improving gender gaps in labor markets worldwide. Here, Silja Baller and Julia Hakspiel from the World Economic Forum explore the need for more effective care systems that recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work.