The economic-financial world comes out of Davos con a little more optimism of what he had entered it with. There 53rd edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was attended by 2.700 leader conferences from 130 countries, including more than 50 heads of state or government, and the key message from the week of conferences is that the global economy could avoid a recession this year, because businesses and markets are responding better than expected to great shocks to which they are subjected.
The recent ones macroeconomic signals have given experts reasons to hope, if not cheer, about the outlook for 2023. Among these are falling inflation, resilient consumption and strong labor markets, suggesting that growth could pick up in the near term .
“My message is that (the situation, ed) is less serious than we feared a couple of months ago, but this it does not lead us to be relaxed“said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In particular, what has improved is the potential for China to stimulate growth, which could lead the IMF to update its current growth forecast of 2.7% for the current year.
Describing the 2022 as a “strange year“, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Christine Lagarde he called on governments to ensure that fiscal policy doesn’t make central bankers’ jobs harder to fight inflation, at a time when China’s restart could add inflationary pressures to the rest of the globe.
Flurry of layoffs among big techs
However, the new ones were the background to the general optimism that emerged in Davos layoffs of global tech giants, who are concerned about their customers’ spending slowdown. Google’s parent company Alphabet will cut about 12,000 jobs on Friday, or about 6% of its global workforce. The cuts come days after Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 workers and Amazon began notifying employees of the 18,000 layoffs it announced in the past few weeks.
One of the main global economic priorities for 2023, according to what emerged in Davos, is the acceleration of decarbonisation. Recent legislation in the US to support green energy will provide billions of dollars in funding, but has prompted concerns about the launch of a subsidy war between Europe and the US over decarbonisation technology.
On the one hand, the competition to promote green energy could accelerate progress for the benefit of all. On the other hand, the risks that nations block technological developments and turn inward would discourage global progress.
“The key issue is not China First, US First, Europe First. The key issue for all of us is Climate First“, said Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who will travel to Washington in the coming days together with German officials to discuss possible changes to the US plan
Artificial Intelligence replaces cryptocurrencies
Another hot topic at the World Economic Forum was the progress ofartificial intelligence (AI), which has replaced cryptocurrencies and the so-called “Web3” as the favorite tech-themed conversation topic of top business executives and politicians. The companies of cryptocurrencies they had taken over Davos last year, but have been less present this year after the collapse in crypto-asset valuations and the super-failures of the past few months.
Lots of conversations involved ChatGPT, an AI and machine learning based chatbot prototype developed by OpenAI, specialized in conversation with a human user. Since its latest release last month, the app has achieved great popularity, as it is able to answer questions in a natural and human way, carry on a conversation and answer follow-up questions, unlike the classic search mode on browsers like Google.
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