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2021 could be more stable – or not

A “Biden bounce”, a finalised Brexit and a covid-19 vaccine … The coming year could see increased stability – yet the senior economists in the macro panel of Treasury 360° Helsinki proposed caution.

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[This is an update, now with the video, of the original news post from the conference day, 2 December.]

“I am an economist, not a psychologist,” said BNP Paribas chief economist William De Vijlder, commenting on the outlook for a positive bounce after years of uncertainty and worry across the global economy.

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The panel discussion in Wednesday’s Treasury 360° Helsinki also featured Handelsbanken’s head of global research Lena Fahlén, OP’s chief economist Reijo Heiskanen, and as moderator Sander van Tol, partner of Zanders.

More than a “Biden bounce”, William De Vijlder pointed to the logic of a “mechanical” bounce as people will eventually come out from their homes after the pandemic and become able to shop again. On the whole, it should be weighed against risks of Scarring effects – the long-term detrimental effects not least for many people with a fragile economy. For many corporations, higher indebtedness will something to deal with.

Lena Fahlén pointed to the important role of China as the world economy’s engine right now, noting that the election of democrat Joe Biden as US president could promise better coordination between the US and the EU in their policy towards China.

As for Finland, Reijo Heiskanen observed that today’s situation seems to be speed up ongoing structural change, with businesses adapting quite fast. While a refinery has shut and the important cardboard industry is struggling, the IT industry is growing fast.


News from the Treasury 360° Helsinki conference is gathered here.

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