Ten Years after the Financial Crisis, Where is the Global Economy Headed?
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∙ Ten years after the financial crisis, the global economy will face four major changes: excess debt, sluggish real sectors, the G2 imbalance, and low productivity, and demographic onus, triggering shifts in global finance, the real economy, industry, and trade. The four changes are:
1) Excess debt and financial distress: Debt-dependent growth will face limitations with the end of the low interest rate era. Global interest rates will inevitably rise and the related risk will grow for heavily-indebted countries; 2) New normal of structural low growth: Chronic demand shortfalls and productivity decline will diminish growth. Structural low growth in the global economy will become a new normal; 3) Manufacturing margin squeeze and evolving industrial ecosystem: With the deepening margin squeeze, the ecosystem is rapidly evolving to a digital-based version and smart technology-based big business is anticipated to rise; 4) Neo-protectionism: The era of neo-protectionism has come with the rise of nationalism and higher trade barriers. The ongoing US-China trade war is a hegemonic struggle that is highly likely to persist.
- The changes in the global economy are not basically assumed in a crisis scenario. However, given the current global economic conditions, another crisis cannot be ruled out. One plausible scenario would be a G2-led economic crisis in the next couple of years.
- Three economic variables—interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and oil prices—will have high volatility and stabilize over the medium-to long-term.
∙ Enterprises should pursue strengthened risk management and a prudential approach to new business and major investment. However, as conventional business opportunities are integrated with ICT, the smart infrastructure market in emerging economies will continue to grow. Using joint research with global enterprises, it will be necessary to create new business opportunities.