Struggling Together: World Outlook Economic Forecast—Autumn 2020

The Conference Board of Canada, 20 pages, November 2, 2020
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This quarterly examination of the short-term economic outlook for the world’s major economies also contains an in-depth analysis of a number of issues that are relevant for understanding world economic trends and developments.

Document Highlights

  • The world economy will decline by 5.0 per cent this year, but a recovery is under way and growth in the 5.0 per cent range should occur in 2021.
  • There are, however, huge risks to the outlook, as the virus has returned with a vengeance to many parts of the world and forced some countries to close retail and other outlets and ban large gatherings.
  • U.S. interest rates will not increase until at least 2023, as monetary authorities contend that the economy is too fragile to handle higher rates while inflation remains under control.
  • Latin America has not done a good job of managing the virus, in part because leaders of countries like Brazil have downplayed the virus’s severity. In addition to COVID-19, the region is also dealing with Argentina’s never-ending debt saga and the ongoing collapse of the Venezuelan economy.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is in the best shape, mainly because the Chinese economy is undergoing a solid recovery, a development that has boosted export demand in countries like South Korea and Taiwan.
  • The United Kingdom is dealing not only with a resurgence of the virus but also with the rapidly approaching end-of-year deadline for negotiating a new trade agreement with the European Union following Brexit.
  • Most firms will likely take a flexible approach to remote working even after a vaccine becomes widely available. Many workers will return to the office, but most will spend only part of the week in the office and will continue to work from home a few days of the week.

Table of Contents

Key findings

A tepid, uncertain recovery in the global economy

Recovery under way but huge uncertainty remains

Latin America

European Union

Asia-Pacific

The future of working from home

Appendix A: Methodology and assumptions

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