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Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist, IHS Markit
World GDP growth in 2017 is set to be the strongest since 2011 and the global expansion in 2018 will likely accelerate a little more. Improved growth in the US and Eurozone economies, along with better prospects in some key emerging markets underscore the better economic fundamentals. While both political and policy uncertainties have increased substantially in the past year, they do not seem to have undermined the solid economic foundations of the global recovery—so far. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of risks that could damage growth in the next few years.
Sara Johnson (Moderator), Executive Director, Global Economics, IHS Markit
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Joseph Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director or Research, The Committee for Economic Development
Tax, regulatory and trade policies have the potential to alter the long-run course of the US economy for better or worse through their impacts on resource allocation, capital formation, labor supply, productivity, and international competitiveness. US policies are also a major source of uncertainty in the economic outlook. Joseph Minarik will discuss prospects for corporate and personal tax reforms in the context of a difficult budget outlook. Which tax policy changes would be most supportive of economic growth? Gary Hufbauer will assess the president’s trade agenda, providing a framework for evaluating the costs and benefits of free-trade agreements. Can NAFTA be successfully modernized? Will increased trade protectionism provoke retaliation, upending global supply chains?
Chris G. Christopher, Jr., Executive Director, US and Global Economics, IHS Markit
Ibrahiim Bayaan, Senior Economist, United Postal Service (UPS) Economic & Market Analysis
Jeff McDonald, Executive Vice President, Nishi-Nippon Railroad (NNR) Global Logistics USA Inc.
E-commerce is commanding a growing role in the retail landscape and changing the global supply-chain dynamics. E-commerce retail sales is gaining market share and cannibalizing traditional brick-and-mortar sales. This session is a discussion of the implications of the rise of e-commerce retail sales on global supply-chain dynamics, including its effect on headline macroeconomic indicators. Focus will be concentrated on the North American, Asia-Pacific and European markets.
Alex Melikishvili, Senior Analyst, Country Risk, IHS Markit
In 2018, Putin is very likely to extend his rule until 2024. However, the low oil-price environment and Western sanctions intensify the struggle for influence among rival factions in Russia’s ruling circles as competition for limited state resources become more pronounced. What minefields will Putin have to navigate to maintain his role as a supreme arbiter of Russian politics? How likely is a renewed economic reform scenario, aimed at boosting economic growth? What steps is Putin likely to take to ensure the loyalty of ruling elites? Will the renewed youth activism witnessed in 2017 anti-government rallies transform into a sustained protest movement that could threaten Putin’s fourth term? The presentation will address this and other questions in an attempt to assess the next six years in Russia’s economic, social and political development.
Elisabeth Waelbroeck-Rocha, Chief International Economist, IHS Markit
A succession of sovereign debt crises have been handled in different ways by the relevant monetary authorities. Whereas most advanced economies sovereign debt burdens seem to have been brought back under control or stabilized, several emerging economies have seen growing debt burdens in sometimes fragile banking systems. The prospect of rising interest rates threatens debt sustainability because of rising debt servicing costs and because emerging markets with broad access to international private capital markets also have high corporate and banking sector debt. With higher interest rates, the latter could endanger their economy and potentially blow up sovereign debts. Additionally, because the share of dollar-denominated emerging market debt has risen, increasing the cost of currency depreciations for those countries reduces the effectiveness of this policy instrument. This session will review recent and projected debt trends in key parts of the world, identify the countries most at risk, and analyze the likely implications for world financial systems.
Todd C.Lee, Executive Director, Global Economics, IHS Markit
Prof. David Shambaugh, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, Director, China Policy Program, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University
China has made tremendous strides in economic development since Deng Xiaoping launched economic liberalization in 1978. China's political system, on the other hand, has remained broadly unchanged during this economic transformation. No country in modern economic development history has transitioned to advanced economy status without political liberalization. Will China be able to break the norm? This session will examine the different China political transition scenarios and their implications on China’s future economic development.
Carlos Caicedo, Senior Principal Analyst, Country Risk Analysis and Forecasting, IHS Markit
Domestic political developments are offsetting an improving investment picture. These include serious corruption in Brazil, the ruling party’s minority position in Argentina’s Congress and the risk of a populist surge in Mexico. The presentation will look at political dynamics, combined with security threats and how these will impact Latin America’s business and economic outlook over the next two years. It will also outline the countries and sectors offering the best opportunities for growth and investment.
Firas Modad, Director, MENA Country Risk, IHS Markit
Nazanin Soroush, Senior Analyst, MENA Country Risk, IHS Markit
Two axes are solidifying in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia and its allies (Egypt, Israel, UAE, and the Kurds) on the one side, and Iran and its regional proxies on the other. Turkey, Iraq, and Qatar are being pulled in both directions, and are increasingly pressured to choose a side. The outcome of this dynamic will determine risks to energy, aviation and maritime assets in the region. This presentation will examine 2018 scenarios for the Middle East plus the ensuing risks and investment opportunities.