World Outlook

Some Semblance of Normalcy

Updated: October 29, 2021

People walking in the street People walking in the street People walking in the street

After 2020’s devastating drop in economic activity, the global economy is now expanding at a healthy clip. But the recovery has been—and will continue to be—uneven.

We expect global real GDP to expand this year and in 2022. Although China’s sharp rebound in activity helped the world economy get through the early stages of the pandemic, it was the massive fiscal stimulus in the U.S. that helped drive global economic activity back up to close to pre-COVID levels by this past summer. The path of the pandemic and differing policy support measures among the major economies, as well as vast differences in vaccine coverage, have resulted in increasing divergence among the world’s largest economies.

The spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant, even in countries with high vaccination rates, remains the largest risk to the outlook for the global economy.

  • Pluses for Global Economy Outweigh Negatives … for Now
  • U.S. on the Mend but Uncertainty Remains High
  • Recovery in Latin America Lags
  • Countries Starting to Tap Into EU Recovery Fund
  • Where Have All The Truckers Gone?
  • Asia-Pacific Continues to Lead World in Growth

Key findings


The world economy will expand by 5.7 per cent this year and 4.4 per cent in 2022. Last year, the pandemic led to a 3.3 per cent collapse in global GDP.


The recovery is being driven by several factors, including massive fiscal and monetary stimulus, as well as the successful rollout of vaccines in many parts of the world.


The U.S. recovery remains on track, but concerns are mounting about inflation, which is currently running in the 5.0 per cent range. Monetary officials contend that the surge in inflation is transitory.


Weakness in the rolling out of vaccines is restraining the economic rebound in Latin America. Fortunately, rising commodity prices have helped the recovery, as has the rise in global trade.


Ongoing shortages of fuel in the United Kingdom are due mainly to a shortage of truck drivers. Tougher visa requirements following Brexit caused numerous drivers from mainland Europe to return home. The U.K. government is offering temporary visas to encourage truck drivers to return.

Previous releases


U.S. and China Shoulder the Burden of Global Recovery: Two-Year World Outlook

The world economy has slowly turned the corner this year. Its strong recovery is linked to the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus that was implemented in every region of the world, plus the rollout of vaccines that has resulted in a sharp pullback on restrictions of activity.

Impact paper  |  24-min read
August 11, 2021

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