Here’s what could happen to the global economy this year

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • A PwC report predicts the global economy will grow 5% this year.
  • The issued value of green bonds will surpass $500 billion.
  • G7 public debt levels will exceed $57 trillion.

The global economy is on the verge of a “great rebound” and will grow by around 5% this year.

That’s one of the predictions made in the PwC report Global economy watch: Predictions for 2021.

The research also forecasts that some of the world’s largest economies may struggle to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, signalling that the growth and recovery we may see are unlikely to be evenly distributed.

Have you read?

Projected size of selected economies in 2020 compared to their pre-pandemic levels
Recovery from the pandemic will be uneven. Image: PwC analysis

Green push

The report also projects that the US rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change will help focus global efforts on balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship.

“2021 will be the first year where the three main economies or trading blocs of the world – the US, the European Union (EU) and China – will refocus their efforts to fighting climate change,” the reports’ authors say.

Blending economic growth with climate-friendly development is one of the themes of China’s most recent five-year plan, and the EU is due to release its first tranche of grants and loans, worth around 5% of Eurozone GDP over five years, PwC says.

Green bonds are predicted to become an area of growing interest, according to the report. Currently, bonds to help finance green activity make up around 5% of the global fixed income market. This year, PwC says, the value of issued green bonds could exceed $500 billion for the first time.

Climate Bond Initiative
Green is good: the value of green bonds issued is climbing. Image: PwC, Global economy watch: Predictions for 2021

Fast, uneven growth

Globally, PwC anticipates growth of approximately 5%, which it describes as “the fastest rate recorded in the 21st century.”

However, it sounds a note of caution on two fronts.

First, as the report explains, that projection is based on a number of assumptions about the global response to the pandemic. The availability of vaccines and continued efforts on the part of national and regional governmental bodies to provide financial support where needed will greatly impact the recovery.

On that, PwC expects more prolonged lockdowns, particularly in northern hemisphere countries which could force economic output in some economies to contract in the early part of 2021.

Secondly, report writers stress, the potential 5% global growth will not be distributed evenly. Growth will be noticeably higher in some places and absent in others. China, PwC believes, is poised to do particularly well as economically, it is already ahead of where it was pre-COVID.

This contrasts with the experience several developed service-based economies are likely to encounter. The UK, France and Spain are “unlikely to recover to their pre-crisis levels by the end of the year”. The same is likely to be the case for economies where the export of capital goods is a major activity – Germany and Japan are two such examples.

Other forecasts from the PwC report include:

  • Italian GDP is expected to top $2 trillion
  • Public debt levels in G7 economies will exceed $57 trillion
  • Oil prices will stay low in the first half of the year
  • Renewable electricity production will continue to grow
  • France will win the rescheduled European Football Championships.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

Rule of Law: Commission launches infringement procedure to protect the independence of the Polish Supreme Court

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

6.1 billion EUR for sustainable fisheries and safeguarding fishing communities

Commission opens first European Innovation Council calls worth €1 billion

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

The EU heads of State and Government about the result of the European Elections 2019

As monsoon rains pound Rohingya refugee camps, UN food relief agency steps up aid

Companies need help to overcome rising

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

EU investment budget for 2020: A boost for the climate

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Work and reforms of the UN ‘at risk’, Guterres warns Member States, amidst ‘record-level’ cash crisis

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Raytheon by UTC, subject to conditions

This is how AI can help you make sense of the world

Calculators didn’t replace mathematicians, and AI won’t replace humans

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

The Collapse of the Brazilian Health Care System

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

COVID-19: latest on evaluation and authorisation of vaccines

It’s getting harder to move data abroad. Here’s why it matters and what we can do

To build back better, we must reinvent capitalism. Here’s how

Iraq: UN human rights report voices concern over conduct of ISIL fighter trials

15 years of risk: from economic collapse to planetary devastation

EU should set goal to end homelessness by 2030

These countries are the most peaceful – in 3 charts

European Investment Bank to borrow €70 billion in 2013

What are antibody tests and can they get the world back to work?

What’s everyone talking about at Davos 2020?

Inaction over climate emergency ‘not an option’ says UN Assembly chief

Why nature is the most important stakeholder of the coming decade

The New Year 2016 will not be benevolent to Europe

Brussels wins game and match in Ukraine no matter the electoral results

Charges against Baha’i in Yemen must be dropped: UN experts urge release of detainees

Reusable packaging: 6 benefits beyond sustainability

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Why skills are keeping CEOs awake at night

These are America’s most dangerous jobs

EU to give more power to national antitrust authorities in a bid to secure regulatory fines

Does May have enough time in Parliament to table a soft Brexit deal?

Japan’s population is shrinking by a quarter of a million people every year

The beginning of a revolution in healthcare

FROM THE FIELD: Keeping Morocco’s indigenous culture and conservation in balance

‘World has failed’ victims of genocide too often: Guterres

EU prolongs economic sanctions on Russia by six months

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

This is how a smart factory actually works

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

‘Severe’ new US asylum restrictions will put vulnerable families at risk, UN refugee agency says

Thousands returning to Nigeria’s restive Borno state ‘at risk’; UN ‘gravely concerned’

‘Stay together and step up’ action to meet Global Goals, ECOSOC President tells development forum

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the Common Provisions Regulation for shared management funds

European Business Summit 2014 Launch Event: “Energising Industrial Growth”

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

The revenge of the fallen

How communities are dealing with economy, society and education in COVID-19 crisis     

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s