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Bart van Ark

Bart van Ark
Chief Economist
The Conference Board

October 2019

The global economy took a big hit in 2019, and recession fears are widespread. We argue that the risk of a larger downturn—while not absent—will be contained, and the global economy will likely return to its slow, long-term growth trend of 2.7 percent sooner rather than later. The downturn in the industrial cycle will most likely ease and eventually bottom out. Consumers around the world will benefit from rising wages and low inflation rates while businesses continue to leverage innovation and digital transformation to grow top-line revenue and reduce costs to avoid a major squeeze on profits.


StraightTalk is a quarterly publication from the Chief Economist of The Conference Board. It provides economic research, objective analysis, and forecasts to help new economy business executives assess economic conditions impacting their markets.



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