Global uncertainty reached unprecedented levels at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and remains elevated. The World Uncertainty Index—a quarterly measure of global economic and policy uncertainty covering 143 countries—shows that although uncertainty has come down by about 60 percent from the peak observed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, it remains about 50 percent above its historical average during the 1996–2010 period.
Uncertainty in systemic economies matters for uncertainty around the world.
What drives global uncertainty?
Economic growth in key systemic economies, like those of the United States and European Union, is a key driver of economic activity in the rest of the world. Is this also true when it comes to global uncertainty? For example, given the higher interconnectedness across countries, should we expect that uncertainty from the U.S. election, Brexit, or China-U.S. trade tensions spill over and affect uncertainty in other countries?
To answer this question, we construct an index that measures the extent of “uncertainty spillovers” from key systemic economies—the Group of 7 […]
In the October World Economic Outlook, we described the global economy as in a synchronized slowdown, with escalating downside risks that could further derail growth. Since then, some risks have partially receded with the announcement of a US-China Phase I trade deal and lower likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. […]
While global growth in 2018 remained close to postcrisis highs, the global expansion is weakening and at a rate that is somewhat faster than expected. This update of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects global growth at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020, 0.2 and 0.1 percentage point below last October’s projections. […]
By Jiaqian Chen
December 4, 2018
The United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union in March 2019. Our research suggests that all likely Brexit outcomes will entail an economic cost for the UK, and these costs would be unevenly spread across different sectors and regions. […]
November 28, 2018
As G20 leaders gather in Argentina, the global economy faces a critical juncture. […]