Keynote Address

Zanny Minton Beddoes

Keynote Address

Uncertainty, Feeble Economic Growth Plague World Economy


By Christine Cusatis, Centerlines Editor

"We have a world economy growing at its slowest pace since the Great Recession," Zanny Minton Beddoes said on Monday during the keynote presentation for the 2012 ACI-NA/World Conference & Exhibition in Calgary.

Beddoes, the economic editor at The Economist, set the scene for the conference with a short- and long-term forecast of the world economy.

The United States is "stuck in a very low gear," she said, and the outlook during the next six months largely depends on the presidential election.  Beddoes withheld political judgments but cited lack of compromise between radically different politicians as a hazard to growth.

But comparatively, Beddoes said the U.S. will fare far better than most others in the advanced economic world, likening it to "the least dirty shirt in the laundry basket." She said the headache from the financial hangover in the U.S. will subside being that the country possesses "the ingredients of a dynamic and new economy."

Worries about the European economy are warranted, Beddoes said, and a clash of visions between countries could lead to another financial crisis.

Emerging economies, such as that of Brazil, China and India, will experience more economic growth than the advanced world, but it will be slow. "The trend will continue, but not the pace," Beddoes said.

For both advanced and emerging countries, increasing gaps between the rich and the poor will become particularly significant as the question of "who gets what" is addressed, Beddoes said.