The global economic outlook for 2021 has worsened moderately since mid-2021, offset by slightly more optimistic recovery forecasts for 2022. Global real GDP is now forecast to increase by 5.7% in 2021 (a 0.2 percentage point downgrade since July 2021), and by 4.8% in 2022 (a 0.2 percentage point improvement relative to the July 2021 forecast). Since July, real GDP growth forecasts for 2021 have been significantly downgraded for the US, Canada, China, India, and other Asia Pacific economies, such as Indonesia and Australia.
Physical spaces have long faced an existential threat from the rise of e-commerce and digital platforms offering quicker, often more agile offerings for a Millennial-driven audience of digital-savvy consumers. The pandemic, however, accelerated this shift in a very short period of time. Many outlets across retail, foodservice and travel were closed as businesses went bankrupt and realised that many of the older models no longer had a future in a post-pandemic market. Consumers, meanwhile, became even more familiar with the digital offerings increasingly available.
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Global growth in consumer health is expected to reach 2% in 2021, up only slightly from 1.8% in 2020, as the fitful pace of reopenings over the course of 2021 allowed for marginal improvements in consumer spend in categories suppressed during the height of the pandemic in 2020. The persistence of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the still-ongoing efforts to vaccinate consumers across the globe have limited the pace of growth in 2021.
The travel industry has been decimated by the pandemic, being the first to close and the last to reopen. Euromonitor research forecasts that international tourism spending is expected to claw back some ground to reach USD635.4 billion in 2021. Nevertheless, it remains precariously 63% below 2019 levels in real terms.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on socioeconomic and technological factors that shape consumer behaviour and disrupt businesses globally. Across industries and markets, organisations have had to navigate challenges and realign for a different future. Almost two years in, we explore how the health crisis and resulting global economic recession have changed the five drivers of megatrends.
Since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, the global economy has experienced some slowdowns and shifts in trade and investment flows, driven mainly by a wave of new technologies, changing global economic power and public concerns. Now Coronavirus (COVID-19) has turbocharged a globalisation reset, revealing the fragility of global connectivity, and prompting countries and businesses to rethink their trade, investment and operation policies. Understanding the forces shifting the global landscape and how globalisation is transforming will help business and investors prepare for the next phase of globalisation and the opportunities and challenges it will present.