Underlying Economic Conditions
The coronavirus pandemic has cast a long shadow over the world economy. The outlook for 2021 remains uncertain. On the positive side, economic analysts expect global GDP (gross domestic product) to pick up, thanks to vaccination campaigns, concerted health-policy measures and government funding. But any delays in providing vaccines or difficulties in containing further outbreaks could dampen global economic activity again. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) anticipates the strongest upturn will be in Asian economies. In many other countries, GDP is unlikely to reach 2019 levels until the end of 2021. Downside risks come from not only the pandemic, but also geopolitical turbulence, such as the still-unresolved USA-China trade conflict and the consequences of Brexit.