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Scholars upbeat about global economic growth next year

Author  :  YAO XIAODAN     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2017-09-28

Scholars from the French Center on International Prospect and Information Studies (CEPII) expressed optimism about the global economic situation in 2018 at a symposium on Sept. 6.

Isabelle Bensidoun, a research fellow from the CEPII recently published an article titled “World Economy 2018: Some Signs of Optimism” on the French edition of the website The Conversation. She wrote that the unemployment rates in major developed economies are dropping while the risk of deflation is also starting to gradually decline. Consumer demand has begun to grow, which has already affected the prices of raw materials and commodities in international trade, she said. Some issues that caused widespread concerns, such as Brexit, have not had quite the disastrous impact on global financial markets that many people imagined, she said.

In terms of emerging economies, China’s economic development has exceeded global expectations, while Brazil and Russia also have pulled themselves out of recession, Bensidoun said. The Indian economy is also developing, she said.

Philippe Weil, a professor of economics from the Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium focused on the economic situation in the euro zone. The economy of the euro zone is slowly recovering, he said. Indicators show that the euro zone GDP grew for 17 consecutive quarters from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017, he said. Notably, the number of jobs is growing quite fast in the euro zone, he said.

Although the idea of globalization has been challenged and European integration has been impacted in the recent past, Sébastien Jean, director of the CEPII said that globalization is irreversible. The international community shares a common destiny and should work together on many issues, including protecting biodiversity, addressing global climate change and optimizing the international financial system, he said.

The global employment structure has been jointly impacted by globalization and the development of new technology, said Jézabel CouppeySoubeyran, a lecturer of economics from Pantheon-Sorbonne University. More active employment training policies and an income redistribution system should be adopted to address employment issues, increase workers’ incomes and reduce the objection to globalization, Jézabel said.

Bensidoun said a new economic growth pattern should be established to insure steady long-term economic growth. Self-interested financial activities should be ended, and the focus should be shifted to long-term investments that are vital to economic development, she said, adding otherwise it will be difficult to solve the fundamental problems that result in crisis.

Editor: Yu Hui

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