The global economy was tested in 2023 as it rarely has been before: inflation and the most aggressive monetary tightening campaign in decades, wars in Europe and the Middle East, a festering real estate crisis in China and the deepening rivalry between Washington and Beijing, which is forcing companies to rethink supply chains and security.
Despite these pain points, the post-pandemic global recovery managed to roll on. In the US consumers defied expectations and kept spending, prompting many economists to ditch their downside scenarios and forecast a rare soft landing. In China the booming electric-vehicle industry—along with a healthy dose of fiscal stimulus—helped leaders stick close to their growth target. And the world economy’s great new hope, India, took up some of the slack.