What will 2014 bring? It looks to be a better year in economic terms than 2013 but risks remain (once again) on the downside. Key challenges to look out for in 2014 include the Fed taper and the flow-on effects on emerging markets; and the continuing impact of lingering unemployment and stagnant incomes in many advanced economies. The oil price looks likely to remain around the same level as it will end 2013 – on or around US$100 per barrel. Real GDP growth is set to accelerate in seven of the G8 (Japan is the exception) and in India and Russia, although not in China or Brazil where it will remain at 2013 levels. The 2014 consumer in advanced economies will begin to emerge from the cautiousness of recent years but will not be forgetting recession-learned habits in a hurry. In emerging markets much depends on how the major economies withstand the taper, but the expected increase in disposable income will continue to strengthen the numbers in the middle classes – albeit at a slower pace than in recent years.
by Sarah Boumphrey