Economic Growth

Global economic growth to slow in 2024, and other economics news to read this week

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Rush hour workers pass Tower Bridge in the financial district of the City of London.

Experts predict slower growth for global economy in 2024, but no recession. Image: REUTERS/Luke Macgregor

Rebecca Geldard
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
  • This weekly round-up brings you the latest stories from the world of economics and finance.
  • Top economy stories: Banks predict slower growth for global economy in 2024; Japan's economy contracts more than expected; US unemployment claims at highest level in three months.

1. Global economic growth will slow in 2024, say banks

Global economic growth will slow even more in 2024 due to high interest rates, increased energy prices and a slowdown in the world's top two economies, a series of leading banks say.

Global growth could slow to 2.6% next year from 2.9% this year, according to a Reuters poll forecast. While economists generally agree the world will avoid falling into recession, they highlight the possibility of "mild recessions" in Europe and the UK.

Six out of ten respondents surveyed in the World Economic Forum’s latest Chief Economists Outlook view global economic prospects as “anaemic” and expect “overall conditions to weaken over the year ahead”.

The global economic outlook.
Many economists forecast slower growth in 2024. Image: World Economic Forum

Despite chances of a “soft landing” for the US, uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's moves on interest rates makes the future hard to predict, says Reuters. On top of this, China's growth is expected to weaken as companies seek more cost-efficient locations for manufacturing.

Morgan Stanley analyst James Lord said in a recent edition of its Thoughts on the Market podcast that US growth is slowing, but could outperform expectations in the first half of 2024. "This is going to contrast quite sharply with recessionary or near-recessionary conditions in Europe and pretty uncompelling rates of growth in China," he adds.

However, Goldman Sachs Research presents a more optimistic picture, pointing to the better-than-expected performance of the global economy in 2023, and the fact that GDP growth and employment have held relatively steady in major economies facing extreme inflationary pressures.

2. Japan's economy contracts, recession risks grow

Japan's economy contracted in July-September, ending a run of two consecutive quarters of growth. This will complicate the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) plans to reduce a significant financial support package it rolled out to help counter the impact of rising prices, explains Reuters.

Japan's economy contracts in the third quarter 2023.
Japan's GDP contracted by 2.1% in the third quarter. Image: Reuters

GDP fell by 2.1% in the third quarter, larger than the predicted 0.6% drop. This came after 4.5% growth in the previous quarter.

The data underscores the impact of elevated prices on consumer spending and the challenges businesses are facing, particularly amid reduced demand from China. There was a big drop in Japan's export growth in October amid declining semiconductor and steel exports to China.

Sluggish economic growth and concerns regarding prices might lead the BoJ to postpone plans to adjust interest rates, Economist Takeshi Minami suggests. "Given the absence of a growth engine, it wouldn't surprise me if the Japanese economy contracted again in the current quarter. The risk of Japan falling into recession cannot be ruled out."

3. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world

New unemployment claims in the US rose to their highest level in three months, jumping by 13,000 to 231,000 in the week ending 11 November. Signs of a slowing job market are likely to bolster the Federal Reserve in its ongoing battle to tame inflation, says Reuters.

South Africa will become the first African nation to implement shared parental leave. Under a new high court ruling, both parents will be able to decide how they use the four months following the birth of a baby or the adoption of a child, The Guardian reports. Previously, only mothers were allowed to take the full period, with fathers entitled to 10 days.

Argentina’s annual rate of inflation will be higher than expected, according to the results of an economic survey. Analysts polled by the country’s central bank have revised up their October estimate of 180.7% to 185.0%. Annualized inflation for the month reached 142.7%.


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The US Senate averted a government shutdown on 15 November by passing a temporary spending bill. The 87-11 vote ended the third fiscal standoff in a year that has already brought Washington to the brink of default on its over $31 trillion in debt.

UK inflation eased more than expected in October as household energy costs decreased. Annual consumer price inflation fell to 4.6% from September's 6.7% – the smallest increase in two years. But Britain still has the highest rate of consumer price growth in the G7.

Russian families are having to scale back on spending as the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions reshape the country’s economy. While the International Monetary Fund projects 2.2% growth for Russia this year, inflation is running high and official statistics show over 15.7 million people living below the poverty line.

High inflation and sluggish growth in Europe and the US may lead consumers to prioritize essentials over gifts this holiday season, with some toy company executives predicting a 10-12% decline in sales compared with 2022. But retailers will be eyeing Black Friday as a sign of how the season might pan out.

4. More on finance and the economy on Agenda

The phrase "soft landing" has been cropping up in news reports and economic forecasts – but what does it mean? This explainer unpacks some of the economic data around the concept and asks: can we really expect a relatively painless exit from the economic crisis?

Rising numbers of countries are considering central bank digital currencies, but data privacy and consumer protection are of paramount concern. Find out if these worries are justified in this explainer.

As highlighted by this year’s Global Gender Gap Report, inadequate care systems are one of the largest roadblocks to improving gender gaps in labour markets across the world. Here, the World Economic Forum's Silja Baller and Julia Hakspiel explore the need for better functioning care systems that recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work.

Related topics:
Economic GrowthGeo-Economics and PoliticsFinancial and Monetary Systems
1. Global economic growth will slow in 2024, say banks2. Japan's economy contracts, recession risks grow3. News in brief: Stories on the economy from around the world 4. More on finance and the economy on Agenda

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