This month marks ten years since the biggest meltdown in financial markets the world has seen – the global finance crisis (GFC). A decade on since then, developed and developing countries are just about getting back to normal; albeit a ‘new normal’ of tepid growth, slower trade and investment, unconventional monetary policy, and strained labour and financial markets.
The last two and a half years in particular have been a topsy-turvy ride for the global economy. A fragile recovery in parts of Europe, a vote by Britain to leave the EU, recovery in jobs and investment the US, protectionist rhetoric from leaders in leading liberal economies, anti-globalisation pressure from disenchanted voters, questions around China’s new growth trajectory, slowdown in trade, shipping lines under stress, and buoyancy in parts of emerging Asia. Last year saw one of the worst years for global trade, with trade growth at the slowest rate since the financial crisis. Yet, the latest IMF World Economic Outlook (July 2017 edition) provides some signs for optimism.