With the delta variant, uncertainty is all pervasive, and the concomitant resurgence of cases around the world could derail the global recovery. High-frequency data paints a blurred picture, but risks to growth have shifted to the downside because of a pullback in services spending. To a large extent, vaccination rates drive national recoveries, thus widening the gap between advanced economies and emerging markets. Expect the global recovery to be lopsided.
This year, climate catastrophes are here for all to see. Dramatic floods in China’s Henan province, parts of Europe and India and in Uganda; unbearably high temperatures in many parts of the world, including North Africa and Turkey; ‘unimaginable’ wildfires in the West of the US, Canada, and Siberia. The list goes on. In 2004, insurance companies involved in the WEF Global Risk Network warned back then that such extreme weather events would become the norm. Even so, what’s happening today is taking scientists by surprise. One, speaking for many, confided that he’s shocked by the severity and frequency of these events that take most existing models “off scale”. Not only will the goal set in Paris six years ago to keep the rise below 2C be missed, but also the dismal possibility of a 3C rise in the coming decades is looking more and more like a reality. This matters so much because global warming has non-linear effects: 1C is bad but manageable, 2C is very bad but adaptation can mitigate the pain, 3C will be simply untenable for many people and species.
Wellness is one of the great ‘winners’ of the pandemic. If wellness was big before COVID, it’s even bigger now: our priorities have shifted (bullet point above) and we increasingly value physical and mental wellbeing because of their relative scarcity. Today, the global wellness market is estimated at anything inbetween USD1.5 tr to 4.5tr., growing at 5-10% per year. Wellness is becoming a prominent investment theme but is hard to define – it’s neither an industry nor an asset class and it comes under many different guises, most notably: (1) appearance (beauty), (2) fitness, (3) health, (4) nutrition, (5) mindfulness, (6) outdoors and (7) sleep. All are gaining a lot of traction, both in the digital and in the ‘real’ worlds.
Read the full article: The Inside Track August 2021