How We Can Make the Most of the 2020s


The 2020s don’t have to be a “lost decade,” an idea that’s been spreading. A report from the World Bank provides a data-driven reality check. The 564-page document estimates potential growth rates for 83 countries representing 95 percent of global economic output over a 15-year period. The findings show steep declines in potential growth for countries such as China, the United States, and some other countries in the five years through 2021, as compared to the five years through 2006. It offers insight into how fast a country is capable of growing and what can be done to avoid a potential ‘lost decade.

Investment is key – not just in capital such as buildings, machines, and software, but also in people by way of spending on education and health. Several steps can be taken to attract private sector investors too. These include taking proper action to address macroeconomic issues, repairing infrastructure, reducing red tape, strengthening institutions and legal systems, and investing in the nation’s workforce by way of education and health. Increasing women’s participation in the labor force is an important step that countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia will specifically benefit from.

The World Bank report was co-edited by Ayhan Kose, the deputy chief economist of the World Bank Group, and Franziska Ohnsorge, a manager in the bank’s equitable growth, finance, and institutions practice. Kose has said that the ‘lost decade’ idea was made popular in the initial coverage of the report but also asserted that social issues have social solutions. It is through this lens that countries with slower potential growth should make their goals attainable.

Kieran Clancy, a senior U.S. economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said that the outlook for U.S. manufacturing is “grim” despite a slight uptick in an indicator of business activity in the Midwest. It is important to note that the World Bank’s report is simply a projection but it provides a crucial insight into where officially productive may need to be focused. By actively investment in the powerful thing such a clean technology for a greener future, countries can make strides in creating jobs as well as boosting the standards of life. As the World Bank’s Leonard E. Read said, “I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove.” The 2020s most certainly merit not to become a ‘lost decade’ and with the right tools, economies can be encouraged to flourish.