Room for improvement: Debt and wealth gaps once again top threats to global economy

While much has been said about the slight improvements in the U.S. economy and consumer confidence in 2012, a new report finds that on a global scale, the economy is still facing the same concerns for the upcoming year and beyond.

In a study released this week by the World Economic Forum (WEF), an independent international organization that researches fiscal issues, income disparities and government debt were both named the most likely risks to the global economy in the next decade.

News sources indicate that these same concerns topped the organization's annual report last year, even despite the political actions that have grabbed major headlines.

According to Reuters, to many experts, this represents a sign that business leaders and academics are still skeptical of world leaders, due to their perceived inability to address the fundamentals underlying issues like the Euro debt crisis and the U.S. fiscal cliff.

"It reflects a loss of confidence in leadership from governments," Lee Howell, the report's managing director said, according to the news story.

Still, other factors were also named. These potential threats to individual investors around the globe include rising greenhouse gas emissions, the increased cost of living, runaway climate change and the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

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