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Economic Outlook – what does 2016 hold in store?
21 January 2016

London

The world in 2016 will continue to be a volatile and uncertain place with enhanced levels of risk in all business and personal activities. However, the underlying causes continue to fluctuate with chaos in the Middle East and North Africa, an economically fragile and increasingly more assertive Russia, the influx of migrants to Europ e and t he ec onomic difficulties in China an d other developing economies. The resulting economic and social implications add to the eco nomic difficulties still engulfing Europe which seem increasingly likely to become major political problems and a threat to the European Union in its current form. In the US, improving economic conditions will be challenged by a Presidential election becoming increasingly more fractious and difficult to call.

Domestically, with the general election behind us and the government’s economic agenda set out, the over-riding uncertainty will remain the UK's relationship with Europe and the referendum on continuing membership. However, with the Labour party under new leadership, this and other major issues will take on a new dynamic.

So what does the economic and political future hold and what might it mean for businesses and their people? With America rising, Europe struggling and emerging markets looking limp, on the face of it, old assumptions on where business opportunities are to be found have been turned on their heads.

  • Are China's best days behind it?
  • Can Europe recover from the Greek crisis?
  • Is Iran the market of the future?
  • How are longer term forces – from demography to urbanisation – going to shape business thinking over the medium term?
  • What are the implications of increasingly more volatile currency fluctuations and the relative strength of sterling?

Against this background, Robin Bew will pick out the key issues as he discusses his vision for the year ahead and debates the consequences for high-performing organisations grappling with this brave new world.

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