Economic uncertainty and the European trade landscape

Boards and General Management, Board risk oversight

European Audit Committee Leadership Network, May 2023

In 2022, ongoing geopolitical conflict, persistent high inflation, rising interest rates, record-breaking energy prices, and labor shortages created a challenging business and risk environment. The economic outlook for 2023 is proving difficult to read, and recent competing trade policies from the United States and Europe have added new complexities for directors and companies to consider.

On 21 March 2023, members of the European Audit Committee Leadership Network (EACLN) met with Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics, to discuss the economic outlook and with Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at German Marshall Fund, to explore the global trade landscape.

This ViewPoints covers observations that emerged during the meeting and premeeting conversations:

  • The overall economic outlook is more positive than anticipated, but uncertainty remains
  • The trade landscape is complex and evolving under geoeconomic pressures
  • Globalization is being reshaped and international solidarity tested