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Why businesses should be positive about the economy

With everything that’s happening around the globe politically, economically and socially, it’s easy to feel worried. You might be concerned about what the world’s financial future could mean for your company’s prospects. But fear not. Trevor Williams, ex-chief economist at Lloyds Bank, has a different view. He told the audience at Caspian Media’s UK Mid-market Debt conference, hosted by its private equity publication Real Deals, to be optimistic. There are, he says, good reasons why businesses should be positive about the economy.

Trevor Williams’ admits that “There’s a lot going on in the world” in terms of the current economic climate. He listed some of the global issues and trends that might be concerning businesses. For example:

  • Rising protectionism
  • Slow trade
  • Russian aggression
  • Economic slowdown in China
  • Increasing inequality

We also can’t ignore:

  • Backlash against established organisations
  • Potential for further conflict in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula

But, Williams still feels there are several encouraging key financial indicators that aren’t all doom and gloom. From these he highlighted 3 reasons why businesses should be positive about the economy.

1. Overall growth in the world economy
The global economy has made a solid recovery in the decade or so since the financial crisis and has continued to improve. For the first time in seven years, the IMF predicted that the world economy would be stronger in 2017 than twelve months ago. This prediction has turned out to be true. In Williams’ view, “That’s a big deal.”

2. Strength in all leading economies
Williams is also heartened by the global consistency of the recovery. Let’s take the world’s top five countries in terms of economic size. If you look at whether their economies are expanding quickly, slowly or contracting, you’ll find none of them are contracting in 2017. This, Williams believes, is “remarkable”.

3. Market stability
Despite widespread political uncertainty, a number of key financial markets are still strong. This doesn’t mean that stability is a given and those markets will never become volatile. In fact, some data suggests that there is indeed risk; however, Williams reassures us that “the markets are sanguine.”

So, for now at least, this is why businesses should be positive about the economy.

Williams is now Visiting Professor at the University of Derby and an independent consultant on economic matters.

For more economics and business insights, join us at Mid-market 2018 conference. The event will take place on 30 January at the Hilton London Bankside in central London. Hosted by Caspian Media’s private equity publication Real Deals, the conference is popular within the private equity industry. It is dedicated to content and networking opportunities for investors, advisers and businesses operating in the mid-market across Europe.

By Hannah Langworth, Senior Reporter at Real Deals