MILAN – The global economy’s most striking feature nowadays is the magnitude and interconnectedness of the macro risks that it faces. The post-crisis period has produced a multi-speed world, as the major advanced economies – with the notable exception of Germany – struggle with low growth and high unemployment, while the main emerging-market economies (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and Russia) have restored growth to pre-crisis levels.
This divergence is mirrored in public finances. Emerging economies’ debt-to-GDP ratios are trending down toward 40%, while those of advanced economies are trending up toward 100%, on average. Neither Europe nor the United States has put in place credible medium-term plans to stabilize their fiscal positions. The volatility of the euro-dollar exchange rate reflects the uncertainty about which side of the Atlantic faces higher risks.