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2024: A year of volatility

2024 is set to be a crucial and challenging year for business.

Looking ahead to a year of volatility, uncertainty, opportunity, disruption and change, the FGS Global Radar draws on new research, unique networks, and our deep expertise to help anticipate some of the key opportunities and risks.

To inform our analysis, we conducted 60 in-depth interviews with senior stakeholders, experts, and opinion formers, as well as nationally representative polling of more than 2,000 members of the UK public.

The key topics covered include:

  • A year of elections and political risk

  • Geopolitics

  • Economic uncertainty

  • Climate change and the energy transition

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Purpose and office culture

Key Findings

The consensus from our expert interviews is that there will be volatility, uncertainty and disruption in the year to come – but also the prospect of greater political and economic stability, and optimism about the ability of AI to change lives for the better.

Key findings include:

  • Interest rates and inflation are expected by most stakeholders to decline over 2024— however they will remain higher than we have been used to in recent years.

  • A Labour election win in the UK is the strong expectation of most stakeholders and they expect this to bring a very welcome steadier and, more predictable macro-economic and political environment.

  • The potential return of Trump is widely viewed as the biggest political risk in 2024, with significant geopolitical implications. “Adopt the brace position” is the view of most stakeholders.

  • The UK public is in a pessimistic mood, with negative expectations about the UK economy and fearing that geopolitical turbulence will have a negative impact on their financial position.

  • AI splits both the public and stakeholders. Some are focused mainly on its positive transformational potential, others on the potential costs and risks as it disrupts the labour market.

  • The mood around climate change and net zero is gloomy, with stakeholders not expecting real progress in 2024 towards 2030 and 2050 goals.

  • The role of purpose in business is evolving. Key stakeholders expect businesses to steer away from taking positions on political and social issues – and purpose to be defined more directly in terms of what businesses do.

  • Both stakeholders and the public believe that hybrid working is here to stay— and many employees want to see even more flexibility from employers in 2024.

“All I can say is, I think we have to adopt a brace position [with Trump].”

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“When we get through the uncertainty of the [UK] election itself, it’s probably quite good news for business because you’ll have a higher degree of stability and reasonably clear picture for at least five and possibly 10 years. You won’t have this extraordinary chaos."

To hear more from the expert’s interview, download a copy of the FGS Global Radar.