While financial markets seem convinced that the recent surge in business and consumer confidence in the US economy will soon be reflected in hard data, such as GDP growth, economists and policymakers remain unsure. Whether their doubts are vindicated will matter for both the US and the world economy.
South Africa will need much more than improved economic governance if it is to reduce inequality and achieve strong growth. In particular, the private sector must deepen its efforts to improve economic inclusion, and capitalize on the well-known benefits of greater diversity in the workforce and the boardroom.
The retreat of the advanced economies from regional and global institutions has received a lot of attention lately. But while the destabilization of multilateral economic and financial structures could be particularly devastating for developing countries, the entire global economy will be adversely affected if the trend continues.
With Republicans holding majorities in both houses of Congress, US President-elect Donald Trump should have a relatively clear road ahead to implement his domestic economic agenda. But if Trump is to deliver the high growth he has promised, he will have to overcome external barriers as well.
Since Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election, stock markets have rallied and the dollar has soared. Explaining these unforeseen market responses could provide a glimpse into what the next few months hold in store for the US economy.
The relationship between politics and economics is changing. Advanced-country politicians are locked in bizarre, often exceptionally hostile conflicts, instead of acting on a growing economic consensus about how to escape a prolonged period of low and unequal growth.