The Top Global Risks in 2024


J.B. Maverick has over 17 years of experience as an active trader. He is a former commodity futures broker and stock market analyst.




The Top Global Risks in 2024
The Top Global Risks in 2024


What is the global risk landscape in 2024?

The World in 2024

The World Economic Forum's 2024 Global Risks Report highlights the top 20 risks to the global economy based on a survey of 1,490 leaders. According to the report, extreme weather is identified as the most significant risk, followed by the threat of misinformation, which has the potential to erode trust and deepen political divides. The risk of societal polarization is intertwined with misinformation, exacerbated by post-pandemic political divides and economic challenges.

Top Global Risks 2024
The aftermath of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has revealed vulnerabilities in societies, further strained by episodic upheaval. Despite these challenges, the global system has demonstrated surprising resilience. While a widely anticipated recession did not materialize last year, and financial turbulence was swiftly subdued, the overall outlook remains uncertain.

Political strife and violent conflicts, spanning from Niger and Sudan to Gaza and Israel, have drawn the attention and concern of populations globally, albeit with varying degrees of focus. Although these developments have not escalated into wider regional conflicts or caused global destabilization akin to the initial stages of the Ukraine war or the COVID-19 pandemic, their long-term implications could bring about additional shocks.

The global risk landscape in 2024 is marked by record-high temperatures causing widespread harm, a global cost-of-living crisis, and escalating tensions in the Middle East that could potentially lead to a broader regional conflict. This year is anticipated to be the largest election year ever, with 4 billion people casting votes across 60 countries, raising concerns about the impact of misinformation on the electoral process.

The conflict in the Middle East poses a severe impact on millions of lives, with recent events in Lebanon raising concerns about a broader war outbreak. The escalation of interstate armed conflicts ranks as the eighth-highest risk for the global economy in 2024. These insights shed light on the critical challenges and uncertainties that define the global risk profile for the year.

Economic Uncertainty

  • The near-term outlook remains highly uncertain due to domestic factors in some of the world's largest markets as well as geopolitical developments.
  • Continued supply-side pressures and demand uncertainty could contribute to persistent inflation and high interest rates.
  • Small- and medium-sized companies and heavily indebted countries will be particularly exposed to slowing growth amid elevated interest rates.

Continuously high inflation rates in numerous countries, coupled with elevated interest rates, are exerting significant pressure on economic growth, especially in markets driven by exports and manufacturing. The current economic downturn, already evident, is poised to expand, raising the concern that any new economic shocks could become unmanageable within this fragile environment, potentially pushing debt beyond the tipping point of sustainability.

In the upcoming two years, there is a potential for a lack of consistency in forward projections both within individual economies and in the interactions between them, especially concerning inflation, interest rates, and growth rates. Divergent perspectives on the future increase the risk of miscalibration by central banks, governments, and businesses, potentially exacerbating and extending economic risks. Furthermore, ongoing trade conflicts and geo-economic tensions among the United States, European Union, and China contribute to the overall significant economic uncertainty that lies ahead.

Google Search for 'Recession'

recession interest google search
Source Google, 2023.

These findings indicate a global landscape of risks where economic, geopolitical, and societal vulnerabilities are on a continual rise. Emerging concerns today have the potential to transform into persistent global risks over the next decade. As ongoing upheaval becomes the standard, decades of investment in human development and resilience are gradually eroding, making even relatively robust states and individuals susceptible to sudden shocks from new and resurgent sources.

Growing vulnerabilities, stemming from resource stress, conflict, and heightened polarization, may expose societies and entire economies to increased crime and corruption. The rapid growth of exponential technology poses a challenge for the next generation, potentially leaving them without a clear path to enhance human potential, security, and well-being.

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