Are these really hopeless times for the global economy?
Perhaps it could be a case of stating the obvious, but what most of the public already believe has just become official. Most experts from business, government, international organisations and academia have very little confidence in the state of the global economy and in global governance over the next 12 months.
This was revealed in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Confidence Index, which polled some 1,500 global experts who are members of the WEF’s Network of Global Agenda Councils. The level of pessimism that these experts share is rather pervasive. Less than 10 percent of those polled have confidence in the state of the global economy.
Further dampening the sense of hopelessness, one in four polled said there is lack of global leadership to deal with the problems and a majority of the respondents fear a geopolitical and societal upheaval. If there is any comfort to be taken, the “confidence that there will not be a major technological disruption” is the highest — nearly 0.5 on a scale of 1.
Discomfortingly, confidence that there will not be a major economic, geopolitical and societal disruption is quite low, indicating the need for greater all-round checks and balances. In fact, one-quarter expects a major economic disruption during the next year. “Lack of confidence in the state of the global economy is not surprising, but the corresponding lack of confidence in global governance and global cooperation is far more troubling,” said Lee Howell, Forum Managing Director who heads the Forum’s Risk Response Network. “Such a pessimistic economic prognosis shows the great need for visionary leaders and collaborative leadership, particularly when 60% of respondents doubt the ability of leaders to cooperate globally.”
Perspectives outside the private sector were the most bearish with almost 54% of the respondents indicating that they are not confident in the state of the global economy; just over 40% expressed little confidence in the economy in the next 12 months.
WEF says the research is the only one of its kind that targets a unique and large group of international experts who focus on monitoring key trends, identifying global risk and mapping their interlinkages.
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