IMD World Competitiveness Booklet 2022

2. The landscape of 2022 The proliferation of vaccines resulted in an impressive economic recovery around the world. While the GDP growth in 2020 was mainly negative in the economies studied, in 2021 all but one economy – Venezuela – enjoyed positive economic growth (see Table 1.1.14: “Real GDP growth”). This, in turn, resulted in a decrease in unem- ployment as is evident, for instance, in Table 1.4.02 – “Employment as a % of the population”– in which we observe that only a handful of countries posts a decrease relative to the previous year. In addition, the data shows the introduc- tion of inflationary pressures as Table 1.5.01 – “Consumer Price Inflation” records only two economies with nega- tive inflation. In addition, Table 1.1.23 – “Forecast: Inflation”– does not record any negative inflation, a case that was emphatically present in the past few years. The inflationary pressure has also high - lighted the persistence of supply-chain bottlenecks throughout the world.

The above conditions apply to most of the economies studied. However, there are three additional global trends that may have also had an impact, to a greater or less degree, on the competitiveness of countries. First, variants of COVID-19 appear under different intensity with respect to the number of infected people around the world. Second, the national policies to address the new variants fall between two extremes: the “zero-toler- ance COVID policy” and the “moving on from COVID policy”. Third is the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, an action that thwarted more than half a century of geopolitical order in Europe. How do middle- and upper-level execu- tives reflect on the above trends? Which situation do they consider to be the most difficult for their business? And just how different are perceptions across the world? Figure 1 shows executives’ views on the important business trends for 2022. About 75% of the total – more than 5’500 responses – received responded to our non-mandatory questions about trends. Corporate leaders could choose up to three trends from the ten options provided. The three most important trends considered to be impacting businesses in 2022 were: inflationary pressures (50%), geopolitical conflicts (49%) and supply chain bottlenecks (48%). The prospect

3. Perceptions of executives regarding the challenges of 2022 In the last few years, in addition to the questions that the yearly IMD Executive Opinion Survey asks mid- and upper-level executives about the competitiveness conditions in the economies in which they reside, we have asked a few addi- tional questions related to executives’ concerns about the economies in which they operate. The aim here was to be able to provide a reflection of important trends from the corporate leaders’ point of view.


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