Results of the online survey at the 29th “Outlook for the Economy and Finance” workshop, (April 6-7, 2018, Villa d’Este, Cernobbio)
Panel Geopolitical risks and the impact on investment Moderator Francine Lacqua Heidi Crebo-Rediker Richard C. Koo Yngve Slyngstad Martin Wolf
Panel Focus on Brexit and the United Kingdom Moderator Francine Lacqua Martin Wolf Mervyn King
Donald Trump is at the center of many panelist comments in one of the most interesting debates today at the “Outlook for the Economy and Finance” workshop organized by The European House–Ambrosetti at Villa D’Este. The moves by the US president are examined in detail by the analysts, in particular his decisions regarding tariffs and protectionism, a situation that risks spiraling because of the actions and reactions that other nations could take in response to US moves, as fully described during this panel moderated by Bloomberg editor-at-large, Francine Lacqua. Although it basically caught British politics off-guard, Brexit seems to be waning among the issues on the international economic agenda.
Although “Trumponomics” was indicated by 33 percent of the businessmen taking part in the online survey, this was not the main concern of attendees at the “Outlook for the Economy a Finance” workshop. At almost 40 percent, the instability of the Italian political situation was the primary stress factor for business according to the survey, with the slowdown in emerging economies coming in third with 19.8 percent and the risk of terrorism in Europe only fourth with 17.6 percent of the votes.
Brexit does not seem to be a particular worry for those voting. Only 8.8 percent indicated it as potentially problematic for their business. A result also confirmed through another question that was posed concerning the impact on political relations of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. For 55.7 percent of those voting, there will be no change regarding investment programs following Brexit, and for approximately 95 percent of the voters there is little or no probability that other countries will follow the UK along this road.
Finally, a significant change in investment orientation for the coming year should be underlined, as the number of businessmen who intend investing in Italy has fallen, although the level remains around 25 percent. Growing at the same rate and with the same percentage are the businessmen who intend going to Asia, while Europe at 25.7 percent and the US at 9.2 percent remain essentially stable compared with the 2017 survey.
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