10 Troubling Trends For The Global Economy

RTR3JLNEREUTERS/Jorge SilvaA 45-storey skyscraper in the center of Venezuela’s capital Caracas is no five-star hotel or swanky apartment block: it is a slum.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has ranked the top 10 threats to the global economy and international order in its latest outlook report released Friday. The WEF labels them “trends”, however, they are all rather terrifying.

This year, the WEF got Nobel Prize winner and former US vice president Al Gore to explain the list, reprinted below:

  1. Deepening income inequality
  2. Persistent jobless growth
  3. Lack of leadership
  4. Rising geostrategic competition
  5. Weakening of representative democracy
  6. Rising pollution in the developing world
  7. Increasing occurrence of severe weather events
  8. Intensifying nationalism
  9. Increasing water stress
  10. Growing importance of health in the economy

French economist Thomas Piketty’s 700-page book on inequality seems to have had an impact, with inequality leaping into first place from second last year.

The WEF reproduced a chart from the World Top Incomes Database, which Piketty has worked on:

There are a couple of other interesting visualisations in the report. Some Pew research shows that a growing number of people view China, rather than the United States, as the world’s chief economic power:

And in Europe specifically, it looks like very few people are putting a lot of trust in the European Union:

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