World Economic Forum: Expect 3 more years of consistent volatility, uneven recovery – Yahoo Finance

The World Economic Forum issued a dire warning to the world at large on Tuesday — it will take society years to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, and any recovery will be bumpy at best. 

“Only 16% of respondents feel positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world, and just 11% believe the global recovery will accelerate. Most respondents instead expect the next three years to be characterized by either consistent volatility and multiple surprises or fractured trajectories that will separate relative winners and losers,” the World Economic Forum said in its annual Global Risks Report for 2022.

The report details a host of concerns top of mind among the 1,000 global experts and leaders that responded to a broad array of questions. 

About 61.2% of responders said they were concerned about the outlook for the world, citing major problems such as climate change and infectious diseases. Only 15.8% held a positive or optimistic outlook for the world. 

Climate change inaction remains a top concern among global leaders, the World Economic Forum found.

Climate change inaction remains a top concern among global leaders, the World Economic Forum found.

Among the list of worries, climate action failure was tops. Interestingly, infectious diseases ranked sixth on things experts and leaders were concerned about.

“As 2022 begins, COVID-19 and its economic and societal consequences continue to pose a critical threat to the world. Vaccine inequality and a resultant uneven economic recovery risk compounding social fractures and geopolitical tensions,” the report said. “The resulting global divergence will create tensions —within and across borders — that risk worsening the pandemic’s cascading impacts and complicating the coordination needed to tackle common challenges including strengthening climate action, enhancing digital safety, restoring livelihoods and societal cohesion, and managing competition in space.”  

Looked at through the prism of asset markets, the World Economic Forum’s concerns are beginning to be appreciated by investors. 

The S&P 500 dropped more than 2% at session lows on Monday as investors took their cue from the 10-year Treasury yield’s march to 2% amid inflationary worries. Stocks ended the session slightly lower. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite turned slightly positive, erasing earlier losses to end a four-day losing streak. Selling pressure continued, however, in high P/E multiple names such as Meta (formerly Facebook), Amazon and Palantir.

Bitcoin briefly dropped below $40,000, too.

The World Economic Forum’s report did little to alleviate any concerns on the part of investors with respect to the pace of the economic rebound.

“Although employment is approaching pre-pandemic levels in many advanced economies, globally the jobs recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is lagging the economic recovery — global employment remains lower than it was before the pandemic and the Great Resignation in advanced economies has caused labour market participation to fall. Youth, women and lower-skilled workers have been especially affected. It will take the global economy at least until 2023 to create the jobs lost to COVID-19, but many of these jobs are expected to be of low productivity and poor quality, according to the International Labour Organization,” the report stated. “Income disparities risk increasing polarization and resentment within societies.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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World Economic Forum: Expect 3 more years of consistent volatility, uneven recovery – Yahoo Finance

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