Prediction Consensus: What the ‘Experts’ See Coming in 2024

(Zero Hedge)—As we look ahead to 2024, there is no shortage of expert forecasts and predictions for the world’s economy, markets, geopolitics, and technology to track in this new year.

In this now fifth year of our Prediction Consensus (part of our comprehensive 2024 Global Forecast Series), we’ve summarized 25 of the most common predictions and forecasts by experts into a single visual of what’s expected to happen in 2024.

Drawing from our predictions database of over 700 forecasts compiled from reports, interviews, podcasts, and more, Visual Capitalist’s Niccolo Conte created the Prediction Consensus “bingo card” and this article to offer an overview of the most cited trends and opportunities that experts are watching for the rest of the year.

This visual is from our 2024 Global Forecast Series Report:

Get full access to the series, which compiles insights from 700+ expert predictions for what will happen in 2024, by becoming a VC+ member today.

The Economy and Markets in 2024

Based on the hundreds of economic forecasts and predictions we’ve sifted through, many analysts and experts share similar views on what’s ahead for inflation, interest rates, and economic growth in 2024.

Inflation: After inflation’s steady decline across economies in 2023, many analysts see inflation continuing to cool off towards target levels. While some note that the last stretch to these targets could be the toughest, few foresee the possibility of inflation surging again like we saw in 2022.

Interest Rates: With inflation largely expected to be tamed in 2024, every major bank and institution forecasts interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of England by the middle of the year. Forecasts from analysts on how much rates will be cut vary between three and six cuts, with Federal Reserve board members themselves forecasting two to three cuts.

Markets: With interest rate cuts on the horizon, experts have echoed tentatively positive forecasts for both stocks and bonds in 2024. Falling rates should see bond yields fall as well, while equities should continue to benefit from the growing AI theme. Portfolio diversification is a common theme in the 2024 investment playbook, especially as geopolitical risks loom.

Real GDP Growth: The outlook for growth around the world is muted. Global GDP growth forecasts range from 2.5-3%, which is slightly lower than the 10-year average (2013-2022) of 3.1%. The U.S. is also forecasted to see slowing growth, with the IMF’s forecasts of 2.4% in 2023 moving down to 1.5% in 2024, while Europe is also expected to continue seeing slow growth at 0.9% in 2024.

When looking at other nations, many experts are predicting we’ll see India outpace China when it comes to real GDP growth this year, especially if the trend of manufacturing and foreign investment shifting away from China continues.

“The transition is two-sided: India is investing in infrastructure and courting foreign investment, while China is investing in aircraft carriers and turning its gaze inward to deal with youth unemployment and sectors crashing.”

– Scott Galloway

Geopolitical Predictions for 2024

After the past couple of years brought geopolitics back to the forefront with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Israel’s war with Hamas, experts don’t see global tensions cooling off anytime soon. In fact, many cite further geopolitical sparks and potential escalation as their top risk to watch out for in 2024, requiring diversified and nimble positioning.

With ongoing strikes from Yemen’s Houthi militants on container ships in the Red Sea resulting in marine shipping disruptions, retaliatory U.S. strikes are now likely cementing the potential for ongoing disruption for marine shipping around the world.

Outlooks for the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars are equally indecisive, with few to no experts foreseeing true resolutions for either conflict in 2024, and most citing further escalation and additional country involvement as the more likely scenarios.

Along with these ongoing geopolitical issues, 2024 is a key year for elections around the world. With the U.S., Russia, Ukraine, India, Mexico, and many other countries holding elections this year, there’s little stable ground in geopolitics without the potential for seismic shifts this year.

Further Boom or Regulatory Bust for AI in 2024?

After its breakout year in 2023, artificial intelligence faces new challenges in 2024 which is set to be another pivotal year for the technology.

While advances in the technology are inevitable, the less exciting reality of regulation and legal disputes around training data is already a key issue, as seen in the New York Times’ lawsuit against OpenAI. Along with this, the growing potential for malicious AI use around the many global elections this year could spur further calls for greater regulation.

Experts see these topics acting as a bit of a damper on another potentially explosive year for AI product growth and distribution. Many are expecting the EU to clamp down faster and harder than the U.S. when it comes to regulation.

2024 Forecasts: Everything is Connected

While the global economy, markets, geopolitics, and technological advancements have always affected each other in various ways, in 2024 these connections feel stronger than ever.

One such example is how escalating conflicts in the Middle East are affecting shipping insurance costs and routes, which could drive up inflation again and lead central banks to hold off on cutting interest rates this year, thus affecting myriad economic factors and markets around the world.

2024 feels full of both good and bad interconnected possibilities, from forecasts around AI advancements ushering in a new bull market and golden age of productivity to the potential job disruptions it could cause that our labor markets and society might not be ready for.

Despite the world growing more polarized and geopolitically fractured in the past couple of years, these predictions and forecasts remind us of how deeply dependent the health and future of the global economy is on the interconnected nature of these factors.