Frankfurt — The global economy has lost steam, with activity increasingly concentrated in major Asia nations. Aging populations drag on growth and public finances. Living standards have improved — unless a trade war changes all that. Welcome to 2060, as seen by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It’s drawn out how the world will look if policy and institutional settings remain largely the same, and how it might be transformed by investment, innovation, or rising protectionism. One of its alternative scenarios is an undoing of trade liberalisation — a growing possibility now that a spat between the US and China continues to escalate. This would reverse a trend that has ushered in decades of labour-efficiency growth and supply-chain integration across countries. Returning to average tariff rates from 1990 could depress long-run global living standards by at least 14% by 2060, the OECD says. The report, less concerned with robot servants and flying train...

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