In no particular order, here are the global macro trends that we think will be most significant in the current year (2012):
- Rising importance of China, coupled with moves by China to “internationalize its currency“. This could have a major impact on the global imbalances issue (previously discussed in depth here at GloboTrends), and also potentially on The US Dollar and it’s reserve currency status (possibly affecting the US’ ability to borrow money cheaply in own currency at long duration).
- Europe and global credit crisis. Expect continued attention in 2012 on the Euro, Greece, Debt crisis.
- The “Arab Spring” will continue to shape global political debates and regional policy. As we watch events unfold in the region, we welcome contribution to our page on Trends in the Middle East and Arab states.
- Political instability and risks 2012 and beyond: See the excellent CFR-sponsored discussion with a panel of experts: “What to worry about in 2012“
- Rise of purchasing power in emerging markets, but at the same time… income inequality and unemployment became hot topics in many of the developed economies (Questions: How do you see these trends related?” And, “Do you think the reaction to income inequality, as manifested in the “occupy wall street” movement, will have an effect on the US Presidential elections?”)
- Booming emerging markets leads to rise in prices of commodities such as High Oil Prices, and fears about “energy security“.
- Continued trend toward “urbanization“, especially in emerging markets…and fears aboutclimate change as the rising middle classes in Brazil, China, India (etc) look to purchase automobiles, and become drivers for the first time.
- Continued changes to the rules that govern international Finance - leading to increasedfinancial system regulation (and the problems, unintended consequences due to continuing financial deleveraging)
- Philosophical debate will continue… about the role of the state. Look for more discussion about “State Capitalism vs. Liberal Capitalism”, which will affect policy throughout the emerging-market world (and in Europe!). Expect this to be a theme (perhaps back-lash) during the US presidential elections.
- As the world’s population crosses 7 billion, expect more debate about agriculture, urbanization, commodities and more
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See also: Top Trends for 2009