The global expansion has plateaued, and though the world’s major economies are doing well enough for now, rising trade tensions and interest rates could send the global economy into a downturn by the end of 2020. The early warning signs suggest that the supportive external environment that SA has enjoyed over the past two years — marked by firmer global growth, a rebounding China and rising world trade — may be changing. "Though recoveries don’t die of old age, this one’s pretty old. Just as with people, getting older often means getting fragile. And this recovery is fragile," says Ira Kalish, Deloitte’s chief global economist. He was speaking at Deloitte’s Global Economic Summit in London last week, where the overall message was that there is significant risk of a global slowdown in the next three years. The fear is that tighter monetary policy in the US and the possibility of Europe and others following suit could stress credit markets, which could in turn put pressure on companie...

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