The past three years have given rise to a series of shocks that have affected geopolitics and global economics. Developments such as the US-China trade tensions, the covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine are weighing heavily on governments’ budgets. Government responses to such shocks have led to public borrowing and spending on an unprecedented scale. Traditional government budgetary processes have also been upended in response to these shocks, leading to more agility, but less transparency. While governments remain determined to achieve economic growth, there are not clear strategies to accomplish this. To cope with future uncertainty and stresses from disruptive geopolitical events, , there is the need to build resilience through defined strategies into government budgets.
This report explores the government budget during times of uncertainty and the implications of budgetary decisions. It provides recommendations for how governments can best respond to current and future shocks. The report is based on desk research, expert interviews and a survey of 104 public officials and policymakers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey was conducted between September and October 2022.