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STRATEGY & CONSULTING

Forward-Looking Macroeconomic Insights

The foresight you need to anticipate change and understand how major global macroeconomic shifts impact your corporate strategy.

5-MINUTE READ

August 21, 2023

Overview

Business leaders need data-driven insights to continuously steer their companies along the path to growth.

We offer strategic advice to inform C-suite strategic planning, corporate development, customer strategy and M&A. Our goal is to translate complicated trends into simple, pragmatic recommendations for our clients.

We provide detailed business insights on key economic trends, such as how consumer behavior is changing, corporate finance developments and risk analysis. We help senior executives assess economic risks and monitor key trends, as well as support business-critical modeling and analysis.

We have hubs in the US, Europe and Asia and work across a wide range of industries to help businesses address the most important macroeconomic challenges for their sector. And our macro-analysis helps clients to carry out scenario and impact analysis, track industry value shifts and understand supply chain exposures.

How we work

Executive leadership and board briefings

Provide regular updates to senior executives on the evolving macroeconomic and financial landscape, helping them to stay on top of potential implications to their company and industry and adapt swiftly.

Growth & market entry

Complement go-to-market strategies with assessment of macroeconomic trends in specific regions and/or industries to support long-term sustainable growth.

Capital project impact assessments

Quantify the value of major capital projects to support investment rationale and analyze the broad economic, social and environmental benefits to inform key stakeholders.

Scenario planning

Devise plausible future outcomes to help firms model and test their possible responses and actions.

Company economic exposure diagnostics

Identify how prevailing macroeconomic headwinds and tailwinds are influencing a company’s top- and bottom-line performance, and provide action-oriented solutions to capture opportunities or mitigate risks.

Investment strategy/private equity

Develop investment strategies and market assessments for PE funds and corporates, with pre-deal market/sector studies helping to identify attractive investment options.

Enterprise transformation

Identify appropriate corporate finance levers to address client enterprise value challenges and increase portfolio value, e.g., Total Enterprise Reinvention.

In the Spotlight

 

Think like an activist: Fortify your firm, self-disrupt and drive stakeholder value

Leaders should think like an activist and look internally to evaluate how their business could be transformed to future-proof operations.

Executive Summary

Last year we witnessed an upward trend of activist campaigns, with a growth of over a third compared to 2021. The challenging global macro environment—characterized by rising inflation, high interest rates and geopolitical tension—has made it more attractive for activists to target companies with room for improved returns. Additionally, these investors hold significant capital, which provides them with resources to deploy.

While activist investors may focus on the goal of creating long-term value, their intrusion may be disruptive to the business. These investors use a variety of tactics to pressure management and force them to make changes.

To protect their companies from being targets, management teams should adopt an activist mindset and proactively assess vulnerabilities. Regular reviews of business performance, operations and strategy are essential—especially in a challenging economic environment

Key considerations

To self-disrupt and protect the business from activist capture, corporations should consider the following preventative measures.

1. Stress-test assets to confirm alignment with firm-wide strategy and return expectations.

2. Re-evaluate long-term value creation thesis.

3. Revisit corporate structure and unit economics to improve overall enterprise agility.

4. Put ESG risks on top of mind.

While making changes, transparent communication is key to maintaining clarity and building trust with shareholders. They should be engaging frequently with institutional investors to discuss long-term strategy, gather feedback and address any concerns in a timely manner.

So, while the pace may moderate, the rebound in activist campaigns driven by global economic conditions remains a prominent trend in the corporate landscape. Leaders need to be prepared and “think like an activist.”

 

Previous POVS

Executive summary

Carbon is now a mainstream topic in boardroom agendas. Leaders worldwide have set ambitious emission-reduction targets, responding to pressures from investors, customers, governments and a tightening regulatory landscape. But climate economics are complex, and although the imperative for climate action is clear, the cost of inaction is uncertain.

What is evident is that, as solutions for decarbonization evolve, carbon markets will play a critical role to balance a net zero system. Managing carbon exposure will be a key consideration for all corporations during capital allocation decisions, in the development of new business, and for managing corporate risk.

Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) are growing fast, and as they become a critical tool to achieve net zero, an ecosystem of new participants, products, regulations and standards is forming. As such, companies need a basic understanding of VCMs, what they may mean, what role they play, and what capabilities they require.

 

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Executive Summary

 

In 2022, the re-opening of economies created a consumer spending impetus that hit up against a high cost-of-living crisis. Consumers pushed through headwinds by drawing on savings accumulated during the pandemic, trading down to budget products, and cutting back spending on big-ticket durables. This allowed spending to remain mostly resilient, especially in the US. But this year, the consumer cycle will likely reach an inflection point. People are facing persistent inflation and high interest rates, increasing household wealth erosion from falling asset prices, and growing income and employment uncertainty. A significant slowing of consumer spending is likely, with high risk of whiplash and cliff effects. What does this mean for consumer-facing businesses?

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Monthly briefs

Our monthly briefs summarize key global macroeconomic developments and are intended to inform executive teams, boards and investors on the state of the economy.

January Macro Brief

Special edition: 2024 outlook and Top 10 trends for companies

The key theme for the global economy in 2024 will be the transition from the post-pandemic normalization cycle to a new normal governed by changing structural realities. As the year progresses, we are likely to see dampened long-term growth and a further retreat in inflation to lower, but still-elevated, levels.

Read our macroeconomic outlook for 2024, including the top 10 trends and key considerations leaders should have about the impact to their business:

  1. Differentiation in consumer resilience and spending power grows
  2. Lingering pay gaps relative to inflation keep labor bargaining power strong
  3. GenAI adoption picks up steam and begins to deliver productivity dividends
  4. Higher-for-longer rates start to bite harder and amplify financial stresses
  5. China de-risking momentum builds
  6. Elections and geopolitical conflicts drive policy and business uncertainty
  7. Stabilizing interest rate outlook supports gradual pickup in M&A
  8. Property market struggles increasingly spill into broader economy  
  9. Global race for critical minerals and semiconductors heats up
  10. Industrial policy competition confronts fiscal sustainability challenges

The focus for companies in 2024 should shift from last year’s priority of preparing for a high risk of global recession, to planning how to adapt and operate in an emerging new normal of growing geographic divergence, greater supply-side constraints, higher and more volatile inflation, tighter financial conditions, and elevated geopolitical uncertainty.

Previous Briefs

Into the fog of winter

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Global growth continues to slow, but data shows conditions vary by geographic economies. Learn why.

 

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Economic growth globally continues to trend lower and gathering headwinds suggest further slowing ahead.

 

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Though the cyclical trend in manufacturing is negative, emerging shifts are improving the longer-term outlook.

 

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The stickiness of inflation weakens growth momentum and pressures central banks to implement monetary tightening.

 

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Global growth remained resilient but uneven in May as the divergence between a strong services sector and weak industrial performance widened further. 

 

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Data suggests major economies have not been significantly derailed by recent financial stress and remain on slow growth path.

 

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Concerns about financial stress and instability cast a cloud over the global economy in March following the failures of several banks.

 

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Global economic activity has exhibited some green shoots over the past two months and suggests an improved growth outlook in the near term.

 

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Additional content

Meet the team

Chris Tomsovic

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Macro Foresight Global Lead

Aditya Harit

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Macro Foresight EMEA Lead

Nick Kojucharov

Principal Director – Accenture Strategy, Macro Foresight North America Lead