World leaders Getty Images

The Global Economy in 2018

The global economy will confront serious challenges in the months and years ahead, and looming in the background is a mountain of debt that makes markets nervous – and that thus increases the system's vulnerability to destabilizing shocks. Yet the baseline scenario seems to be one of continuity, with no obvious convulsions on the horizon.

HONG KONG – Economists like me are asked a set of recurring questions that might inform the choices of firms, individuals, and institutions in areas like investment, education, and jobs, as well as their policy expectations. In most cases, there is no definitive answer. But, with sufficient information, one can discern trends, in terms of economies, markets, and technology, and make reasonable guesses.