Confidence in the resilience of the global economy is cheering up the crowd at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, against a backdrop of war and prospective political upheaval in the year ahead.

Hours after Donald Trump’s Iowa caucus win raised the likelihood of him clinching the U.S. presidency again – and possibly shaking up the world order too – attendees in the Swiss resort spent Tuesday putting a brave face on the outlook.

From International Monetary Fund officials and central bankers emphasizing the probability of a soft landing, to financiers and business leaders observing the solidity of the backdrop, a gathering that began shrouded in gloom for 2024 is now featuring moments of cheer.

“It’s a bit of a ‘pinch me’ moment that we’ve been going through,” Deutsche Bank AG Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke told Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua. “The resilience of not just the economies, but also financial markets – to the geopolitical crises that are going on, to the rise in interest rates and the fight against inflation – has been remarkably strong.”

That message was echoed by several others at the World Economic Forum despite the catalog of unknowns confronting the world multiplied since last year’s meetings.

Even without the potential specter of a Trump presidency, the prospect of elections for two-fifths of the global population, along with inflation, wars raging in Ukraine and the Middle East, and now tensions spreading to the Red Sea, had been quite enough to unsettle the Davos elite.

Last week, within hours of a fake post on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s X account that fueled a brief surge in Bitcoin, the forum released a survey of risk experts showing how they see “misinformation and disinformation” as the biggest short-term danger to the world. Their longer-term worries are focused on the health of the planet.

Even so, the possibility that the global economy could sail through a period of unprecedented tightening relatively unscathed is offering Davos veterans hope that some possible further shocks to the system might also be weathered in due course.

“We feel like a soft landing scenario,” International Monetary Fund official Gita Gopinath told a panel. “The probabilities have gone up quite a bit because we’ve had inflation come down without needing that much of a loss in terms of economic activity.”

Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau echoed that sentiment.

“One year ago, the fear here in Davos was that we would have inflation and recession,” he told Bloomberg TV. “We will possibly escape both.”

On the eve of the first full day of meetings in the Alps took place, Trump tightened his grip on the Republican nomination. In sub-zero temperatures, Iowa voters gave the former president 51% of the vote, more than doubling the widest margin of victory in the caucuses’ history.

Inside the Davos conference center, a panel of financiers did openly worry about prospects of another term for Trump. Even so, they still found positives in the global economic backdrop too.

“I think the central banks – in terms of their response to inflation – they’ve done actually a pretty good job with a lot of uncertainty,” State Street Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ron O’Hanley said. “This was untrodden ground in terms of what they had to do.”

Given memories of disruption to the global trade environment that occurred under the last Trump presidency, there was also optimism about how commerce can still continue.

DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said on Bloomberg TV that “trade is resilient” and “will continue no matter what.”

< 10pt; line-height: 12pt;text-align: left; ">With assistance from William Horobin, Jonathan Ferro, Lisa Abramowicz, Annmarie Hordern, Jana Randow, Alexander Weber, Mark Schroers and Sarah Muller.