Bart van Ark

Bart van Ark
Chief Economist
The Conference Board

November 2017

After exceeding expectations in 2017, the global economy is projected to carry forward its current momentum to generate a 3 percent growth rate in 2018. While the growth path of mature markets will remain solid in the short term, potential for much faster growth is limited, and a growth slowdown is likely to set in later in the decade. As some major emerging markets are maturing themselves, especially China, they are unlikely to return to growth trends of the past. The good news is that a larger role for qualitative growth factors—an improvement in labor force skills, digitization, and stronger productivity growth—may help sustain growth and provide better conditions for businesses to thrive over the next decade.


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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