The risks for any Global economy are always around the corner, some may be more difficult to anticipate than others, such as a war, the sudden collapse of financial markets or a major natural disaster.
Other times, there are signs that alert economists of potential threats and this makes it possible to make forecasts in the short and medium term.
Looking ahead to 2018, there are several international organizations that have drawn up lists of the risks that are on the horizon for the global economy, starting in 2018.
Although an overall growth rate of 3.1% is expected this year, there are uncertainties that persist and latent risks.
These are some of the risks they project for 2018 experts consulted by Conspiracy Talk News who are dedicated to analysing the evolution of the world economy:
Abrupt hardening of international financing conditions . This risk could materialise if financial markets reassess the speed at which the central banks of advanced economies will normalise their monetary policies, for example, if inflation in these economies increases more than expected.
- Rapid readjustment in the stock markets . This risk has increased due to the very high levels registered in the most important stock exchanges in the world, as well as the very low interest rates worldwide, conditions that could change abruptly and generate financial stress.
- Increase in restrictions on trade . This risk has increased due to protectionist inclinations in some of the most important economies, such as the United States.
- Increase in uncertainty in economic policy matters. Drastic changes in the management of the economy could affect investment decisions.
- Increase in geopolitical tensions . A resurgence of these tensions, for example, in the Korean peninsula or in the Middle East, could undermine confidence and damage economic activity.
- Geopolitical and stability risks of institutions and global rules. For example, what will happen with the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, or an escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea, or between the United States and China. We are not in a bubble zone, but there is an increase in geopolitical risks.
- Fall in productivity growth , both in developed and emerging countries. I am referring to productivity in the sense of how we combine new technologies, capital and work. There is less growth than we had in the past. The world still does not know how to use new technologies in production systems. And the other element that influences is the aging of the population.
- The inflationary surprise . Now there is a broad consensus in the world that we are in a stage of low structural inflations, with very kind monetary conditions, with exuberant markets that have created financial wealth with little volatility. This has caused a recovery synchronization. Now, if inflation rises in the United States (which is what is expected), there would be increases in the interest rate and change the scenario.
- Increase in the high levels of indebtedness of the private sector and countries in many parts of the world. This implies that some of the resources destined for investment or social transfers will be used to pay the higher cost of the debt.
- There is a moral dilemma . Companies have to bet on the common good and not just dividends from shareholders. This is not a risk, but raises the question of how companies can have legitimacy before societies more tired with the increase of inequality. I believe that this debate can have an important effect.
- Climate change . This is the biggest challenge we are facing. Global warming, natural disasters, water scarcity and pollution could leave 122 million people in extreme poverty, in addition to those who are today in that situation.
- Growing inequality . The increase in income inequality and social polarization are adverse consequences of hyperglobalization, especially in the developed world. Today there are eight people who concentrate wealth similar to the poorest 50% of the world’s population. Inequality threatens the economic and social sustainability of the current development paradigm and its costs threaten well-being, investment and innovation.
- Decreased confidence in democracy . A culture based on privileges transforms differences into inequalities. These social tensions, combined with uncertainty, have weakened public confidence in democratic institutions.
- Crisis of multilateral-ism . Long and persistent current account imbalances, together with changes in the location of companies and the worsening of working conditions, have led to a resurgence of protectionism in many countries. This, combined with inefficient trade negotiations, has weakened the international multilateral system.
- Unequal impact of technological disruption . More than 40% of humanity is still disconnected, does not participate, nor has a voice in the new digital economy. Just as new technologies redefine products and labour markets, the unequal distribution and consumption of these technologies affect growth and create new inequalities.