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CAN'T BE SURE

The biggest threat to the economy in 2020? It could be politics

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
French labor unions and workers on strike in Versailles.
  • Walter Frick
By Walter Frick

Membership editor

If you had to describe the state of the economy in an emoji, itโ€™d be: ๐Ÿคท

No one is quite sure what will happen in 2020, partly because of all the looming political uncertainty. Thereโ€™s the trade war, US-China relations, US-Iran relations, the US election, the rise of populism, Brexit (still), protests around the world, and the question of what governments will or will not do to combat climate change. Thatโ€™s the short list.

All of that uncertainty should be a drag on the global economy because it gives companies a reason to delay hiring and investment, and thereโ€™s some evidence that thatโ€™s happening. However, some experts have been surprised just how little impact itโ€™s had on the economy to date. In a year that promises to be full of political turbulence, can the economy keep calm and carry on?

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