11 Jan EXAMINING TOP 2024 ECONOMIC TRENDS AND THEIR GEOPOLITCAL IMPACT
The global economy come 2024 is expected to still be impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the early 2020s. But provided outbreaks can be contained, most forecasts predict steady if unspectacular growth. The IMF projects worldwide GDP expansion of around 3-4% annually over 2023-2024. However, inflation, debt levels, and inequality between countries look set to rise. China will likely account for over one-fifth of global economic activity this decade as emerging markets broadly drive growth.
Developed economies face aging populations, plateauing productivity, and swollen public debts after heavy pandemic spending. Their central banks also struggle to reign in inflation – especially in essentials like food, housing and energy – without triggering recessions. The US, EU and Japan grow modestly while UK expansion lags hurt by Brexit effects. Younger populations and expanding middle classes allow emerging countries across Asia, Africa and South America to grow at over double the advanced economy rate.
Technologies like 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and data analytics will unlock new efficiencies. Their full economic impact requires upgrading skills and infrastructure investment. An early 2020s tech investment boom shows signs of slowing amid raised interest rates and weaker earnings. Globalization also faces pushback from populist politicians, threatening the efficiency gains from cross-border supply chains.
The transition towards renewable energy and electric transport accelerates, bringing disruption, stranded assets, and job losses in communities reliant on fossil fuels. New materials like graphene promise advances, but implementing innovations at scale takes time. The pandemic leaves healthcare systems struggling with backlogs and burned-out staff. Pharmaceutical spending is set to soar.
Overall the 2020s economy sees entrenched inequality between and within countries. High earners capturing most gains in growth sectors while others rely on state support risks social unrest. The climate emergency means more spending has to flow towards sustainability adding budget pressures. With governments strapped for funds, hopes are on a new wave of technological innovation driving productivity enough to support aging populations in a more equitable and environmentally sustainable manner.