There is an old joke that the role of economic forecasters is to make astrologers look good. Forecasting GDP or inflation for the upcoming year with any degree of accuracy is virtually impossible, but there are some scary signs appearing.
In December the investment community took notice of Jack Dorsey’s most recent moves in Africa when his tech conglomerate Block, Inc. co-led a $2mn investment round into Gridless, a bitcoin mining company in Africa.
The global economy has been through some enormous changes in recent years, leading investors and analysts to believe we are at the start of a new high-inflation, lower-growth super-cycle that could last for as long as a decade.
Interest rate hikes have eased price pressures, but the weather, war and material costs could keep food prices elevated for longer,
Global debt remained above pre-pandemic levels in 2021 even after posting its steepest decline in 70 years, underscoring the challenges for policymakers.
In April 2021 gold was sitting around a price of $1,700; as of December 10, 2022 it is now approaching $1,800. Relative to just about every other asset class, this is not a bad performance.
The polycrisis has eased off and the US Fed signalled that it will slow rate hikes as inflation appears to be peaking. That is good news for EM markets and investors have been buying high yielding debt as default fears abate.
The number of people without access to electricity is rising for the first time in decades, says IEA, thanks to the energy crisis.