Filmed by Alpha Grid. Produced by Filip Fortuna. Footage: Reuters
Here at the World Economic Forum you can't get away from talking about the global economy. It's what the WEF was set up for. Now, at the start of the World Economic Forum yesterday, as the snow was pouring down, the International Monetary Fund came out with its latest global economic forecast.
And they were really optimistic - up last year, raised again for 2018 and for 2019. 0.2 of a percentage point for both 2018 and 2019. 3.9% growth for the global economy in total. This is the best run of growth since 2010 and the start of the decade. Actually, if you look at the three-year period as a whole, it's the best run of global growth since 2007.
But what did the IMF have to say about it? Actually, they were rather downbeat. And that's the mood here on the conference floor. Even though things are going a lot better than thought a year ago, and a lot better than anyone expected, people are very downbeat.
Prime Minister Modi from India talked about strains and stresses in the globalisation model, and talked about capitalism maybe destroying itself. Session after session worried about inequality and whether the global economic system is working, or whether the countries of the world are consuming too much, and so we're going to destroy the planet. It's not the exuberant, confident mood that you might have expected, given the economic numbers.
Now, I would think this has a lot to do with people not wanting to go back to the years of 2006, 2007, where bankers were in charge, and they came to Davos oozing with money and oozing with confidence about the world, only for it to see it all fall apart. Now the big message is, this is a time not to be complacent. Everyone is saying it.
There are big problems, still, with the global economy. The world hasn't fixed the roof, even though the sun is shining. And now is the time to do it. So the focus is on trying to make this a more sustainable global economy rather than just a very fast-growing global economy.