Handelsblatt Exclusive World Economic Forum: Trump and Brexit Pose Greatest Economic Risks in 2017

Income inequality and fears of a loss of identity from migration and globalization are fueling the polarization of society.
Quelle: dpa
Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum.
(Source: dpa)

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president pose the greatest risks to the global economy in the coming year, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2017, which Handelsblatt has obtained in advance.

Political stability and social cohesion, which serves as the basis of a successful economy, are threatened by growing income inequality and the polarization of society, according to the report. People also fear a loss of cultural identity due to the changes brought about by migration and globalization.

Given these identity issues, increased economic growth won't be sufficient to soothe the populist anger that fueled Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and Mr. Trump’s successful presidential campaign, according to the report. In other words, while free-market capitalism needs reform, the report suggests that won't be enough.

The World Economic Forum surveyed 750 risk experts in the areas of economic, politics, science and civil society for its report.