2020 Mega Trends

As 2019 draws to a close, businesses are already looking toward 2020. In this day and age, accurate and detailed business insights are vital in navigating businesses through rapidly changing operating environments. Here are the developments that will define 2020:

Slowing global GDP growth in emerging and developing economies, as well as major economies, such as India, Mexico and Germany. A series of stimulative factors will result in continued moderate global growth (3.1%) throughout 2020:

Negative global growth factors Positive growth factors
  • Rising trade war risks
  • Rising geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East
  • Declining business/consumer confidence
  • Global debt levels high/rising
  • Low monetary policy interest rate-> limited room for further cuts
  • Slow labour productivity growth in advanced economies constraining household income growth
  • Relaxed monetary policy/declining long-term interest rates relative to the end of 2018
  • Global consumer confidence remains above average
  • Unemployment rates remain low in key advanced economies
  • Current global growth slowdown mainly limited to manufacturing and trade sectors
  • Ongoing relative strength in consumption and services sectors

However, downside risks are increasing and considering current interest rates, traditional stimulative tools will only have limited room in stimulating investment during a recession.

2020 will be the start of the Asian century, with Asian economies outgrowing all other economies combined for the first time since the dawn of the 19th century. This event, however, will be overshadowed by slowing economic growth in the region, with Hong Kong protests, Japanese and Korean trade tensions and a sluggish Chinese economy.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games will present a turning point for Japan, as the country loosens visa regulations, opening its doors not just to tourists, but to a broader set of stakeholders.

Recent climate events will result in an intensified climate debate, resulting in the possible readjustment of the global warming target to 1.5°C during the United Nations’ COP26 summit in Glasgow.

Brexit and associated issues will remain a business concern in 2020 and beyond. Trade deal negotiations, formulation of new trade and migration legislations are expected to take many years.

2020 will see the emergence of a new shopping phenomenon: “Entertainmerce” a combination of e-commerce and entertainment, seeking to recreate social interactions associated with traditional online shopping. Furthermore, online retailers will continue to strive for faster delivery services in the new year in the battle for market share.

2020 is furthermore believed to be the end of the age of tech SAAS entrepreneur-kings (WeWork, Uber), with investors increasingly looking toward Zebras; start-ups focused on addressing real-world problems, still achieving profit and scaling at a manageable pace.

The world will furthermore continue to debate #Metoo, the justification of flexible work arrangements, work/life balance, with the topic of mental health in the workplace gaining greater attention under the #Dearmanager movement.

Facial recognition has reached a stage where it can be widely applied in analysing buyer intent, class attendance and student’s attention span, assisting in the recruitment process and official identification. The technology could have severe effects on safety but also human liberty, with threats to data safety, civil liberties and privacy, it is expected to fuel serious debate.

Conducting market research and identifying relevant trends and developments allow businesses to adjust business plans, adapt evolving technologies and devise risk management plans to ensure continued commercial success.


Sources:

Daniel Solomon, G. S. (2019). Webinar: Global Economy in 2020. Euromonitor International.

MacDonald, N. (2019, 12 11). 20 Big Ideas that will change your world in 2020. LinkedIn. Retrieved from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20-big-ideas-change-your-world-2020-natalie-macdonald/