These nine trends deserve special attention in the new year

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These nine trends deserve special attention in the new year

In the coming months, the world will be faced with attempts to curb inflation, with chaos in energy markets and uncertainty about where China will go after the pandemic? The Economist lists nine topics to pay close attention to next year.

1. All eyes on Ukraine. Energy prices, inflation, interest rates, economic growth, food shortages all depend on how the conflict develops in the coming months. Ukraine's rapid advances could pose a threat to Vladimir Putin, but a stalemate seems the most likely outcome. Russia will try to prolong the conflict in the hope that energy shortages and political shifts in America will deprive Kyiv of Western support.

2. A recession is coming. The world's major economies will fall into recession, and central banks are already raising interest rates in the hope of curbing inflation, a consequence of the pandemic and the result of a surge in energy prices. And if the recession in America is relatively mild, then Europe is in for a severe blow. In general, the whole world will feel the pain, and the strongest dollar will hit poor countries that have already suffered from the high cost of food most powerfully.

3. A glimmer of climate hope. To replenish their energy reserves, countries are returning en masse to dirty fossil fuels. But in the medium term, the fighting will accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources, and they will become a safe alternative to hydrocarbons from dictatorships. In addition to wind and solar, nuclear energy and hydrogen are expected to grow.

4. China at its peak? Sometime in April, India will overtake China in terms of population, and its population will be 1,43 billion. As China's population dwindles and its economy struggles, there will be a debate as to whether it has reached its peak and is starting to fizzle out. And if the rate of economic growth slows down, it will mean that China will never surpass America.

5. Split in America. Although Republicans performed weaker than expected in the midterms, social and cultural divisions over abortion, guns and other sensitive issues will only deepen after a series of controversial Supreme Court rulings. The official entry of Donald Trump into the 2024 presidential race will add fuel to the fire.

6. New hotspots. The continued focus on the conflict in Ukraine exacerbates the risk of conflict elsewhere. While Russia is distracted, conflicts flare up in her backyard. China may decide that there will be no better opportunity to act against Taiwan. In the Himalayas, tensions between India and China could flare up. And what if Turkey tries to take over a Greek island in the Aegean?

7. Alliances change contours. World unions react to geopolitical shifts. NATO, buoyed by conflict in Ukraine, will be joined by two new members. Will Saudi Arabia join the emerging bloc called the Abraham Accord? In addition, the Quadripartite Security Dialogue and AUKUS (these two US-led clubs are designed to fight back against China) and I2U2 are growing in importance - do not confuse this is not a rock band, but a sustainability forum with the participation of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and USA.

8. Tourist revenge. Get it, covid! Amid a general desire to get even with lockdowns and closed borders, travel spending will almost return to its 2019 level of $1,4 trillion — but in part due to inflation and rising prices. The actual number of international tourist trips (approximately 1,6 billion) will not exceed the 2019 pre-pandemic level of 1,8 billion. Business travel will remain modest as companies cut costs.

9. Reality check for the metaverse. Will the idea of ​​working and playing in the virtual world take root? 2023 will partly answer this question: Apple will release its first headset, and Meta will decide whether or not to change strategy in response to depreciating stocks. Meanwhile, a simpler and more useful shift may be the arrival of "access keys" to replace passwords.

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