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2019 Ends with Signs of Economic Stability

2019 was a challenging year for economies all over the planet. Difficult trading conditions led to an overall slowdown. Yet, the year is ending with some signs that a period of greater stability could lie ahead in 2020.

The Challenges Faced in 2019

Global growth was as slow this year as it has been at any time since the financial crisis 10 years ago. One of the main reasons for this was the increasing number of trade barriers around the world.

The most important of them was the trade war between China and the US. This stifled businesses, as each of the countries took it in turn to increase tariffs on a variety of products.

Other issues arose elsewhere, as the US battled Europe and Japan took on South Korea in trade disputes. Going into 2020, it seems that some of the tension in these areas is finally easing.

Regional problems also added to the global woes, with the economies of countries such as Brazil, Argentina, India, Germany, Japan and Venezuela all suffering throughout 2019 for different reasons. In the UK, the on-going uncertainty around Brexit meant that the British economy also had a difficult time.  

What Was the Reaction?
The most notable reaction was that which was taken by some central banks. Many of them acted aggressively, cutting their interest rates to stimulate their country’s economy in the face of weakened demand.

Businesses around the world noted a slowdown in their activity, especially in the manufacturing sector. However, employment figures and wage levels have generally been solid and stock markets have stayed steady overall.
The problems encountered by businesses also led to a rise in demand for international collection services too. Despite the issues previously noted, most countries avoided slipping into recession, although little or no economic growth was noted in general.
What Does 2020 Hold in Store?
At the moment, it seems that 2020 will provide the possibility of greater growth across the planet. Several of the trade wars appear to be drawing to a close and this means that businesses can once again look to boost their overseas sales.

In the UK, Brexit also looks to finally be settled this coming year, after the recent elections. This should allow the British economy to progress on a more solid footing than has been possible in 2019, putting an end to a period of uncertainty.

Consumer demand has largely remained strong throughout 2019. With the economic conditions expected to improve, companies will be hoping to see the right conditions for a better year ahead. 

In addition, interest rates look likely to remain steadier in 2020 as well. The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve have already indicated that they are hoping to avoid any changes to their rates in the next few months.

Finally, the fact that Sweden has moved from negative interest rates onto zero is perhaps a sign that more countries are going to leave negative interest rates behind this year.