The Economist: Global Economic Forecast – March 2012

Latest global economic forecast
From The Economist
March 2012

The Economist Intelligence Unit have just published their latest economic forecast so I thought I would bring it to your attention. There is a powerpoint version and a slightly more detailed summary.

Good news or bad news? Really hard to say as it depends upon your perspective.
Bad news? Growth is slowing around the world and we are hovering on a recession in Europe (and actually in a recession in certain countries such as Greece).
Good news? There is a growing sense of some level of stability arising after the peaks and troughs of the last 24 months – although stability at low GDP levels and high commodity/oil price levels. However, some of the really big risks seem to be decreasing (not disappearing) such as a melt-down of the Eurozone.

It must be said however, that the aggregate level hides a lot of variability at the granular level. For instance, we believe that “averaging” Europe can be very misleading as there are significant variations between countries.

The other danger at looking only at economic data is that many of the socio-political issues are not raised – many of which could have significant consequences. For instance the reaction to tough austerity measures in countries at the periphery are a tinderbox. The longer-term effects of a related issue: high unemployment in many countries and/or regions, does not seem to be being addressed in any type of coherent way. This combined with dual-level “recoveries” (such as positive stock markets and relatively high executive salaries; against smaller companies starved of cash, facing lower consumer demand and even going out of business) will fuel the fire of dissatisfaction.

But not all is gloomy as where there is risk, there is always opportunity for those organisations with the insight and flexibility to capitalise on these. It simply requires shifting perspectives and being prepared to challenge past ways of thinking.

The Economist is a great magazine and information source and we would strongly recommend anyone interested in their outputs to sign up on their web-site. In the meantime, here is the presentation and the pdf.

Economic forecast March 2012 – presentation

Economic forecast March 2012 – summary

I trust you find value in these documents and our brief synopsis. If you would like to discuss any of these issues and how your organisation may be impacted, please mail Simon Gifford at




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