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Davos special: Looking for bright spots in the global economy

Historians will judge 2011 as a year of crisis. Will 2012 be worse, more of the same, or an unexpected pick-up in the world’s economic fortunes? As politicians, business leaders and bankers gather in Davos for the World Economic Forum, we assess the risk factors in an increasingly fragile global economy and market.

Why doomsday prophecies for 2012 are wrong
Analysis by Ned Davis Research suggests apocalyptic predictions about financial markets in 2012 are unjustified. Eurozone Europe will lag, but much of the rest of the world can expect a pick-up

Demographic risks could prompt a new global crisis
The European sovereign debt crisis and high debt in most of the developed world have been the main focus of global macroeconomic risks. But a big driver of global growth is demographics, which will weigh on productive capacity and on government finances

US economy faces the perils of a fiscal mess
The US is part of an elite of highly indebted developed nations. Bond vigilantes have attacked some of the eurozone states but have largely ignored the US. As the eurozone sovereign debt crisis resolves itself, the US fiscal position will attract more scrutiny

What’s hot and what’s not in African sovereign risk
Country risk scores for Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon and Tanzania rose last year, with higher average-economic-outlook scores across the continent and a willingness in the international capital markets to finance African borrowers

China plays catch-up with the developed world
The country’s economic strengths are well documented, yet its position in Euromoney’s Country Risk rankings is surprisingly low, held back by weak bank scores and political risk