Though the outlook for the global economy has most certainly improved since the financial meltdown of 2008, things are still far from optimal.

As emerging markets continue to snatch up gold at a breakneck pace and as International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde says she is “guardedly optimistic” about the outlook for 2014, it would be difficult to paint a rosy portrait of the current situation.

A Global Economic Meltdown? Analyst Says You Need to Watch for These 20 Signs

A protester stands guard at the barricades in front of riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 (AP)

And at least one writer says the situation worldwide is not just bleak, but it’s downright dangerous.

“In major cities all over the globe right now, there is looting, violence, shortages of basic supplies, and runs on the banks,” Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse wrote. “We are not at a ‘global crisis’ stage yet, but things are getting worse with each passing day.”

“For a while, I have felt that 2014 would turn out to be a major ‘turning point’ for the global economy, and so far that is exactly what it is turning out to be,” he said.

The following are 10 of the 20 signs Snyder says may be signaling something much more dangerous down the road:

20. Markets

The Dow collapsed by approximately 170 points last Thursday.

“It is becoming increasingly likely that ‘the peak of the market’ is now in the rear view mirror,” Snyder said.

19. Congress

Congress will face yet another debt ceiling showdown in February. Previous budget fights have resulted in markets taking a hit due to uncertainty. This upcoming fight should be no different.

18. Retail

Consumers should expect a “tsunami” of retail store closings in the coming years, according to CNBC:

Get ready for the next era in retail—one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.

On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It’s the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy’s.

Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

17. Retail

2013 was apparently “the worst holiday season since 2008,” according to CNBC.

16. Tech

Intel announced recently that would cut roughly 5,000 jobs in 2014.

15. Sales

The Baltic Dry Index experienced in 2013  “the largest two-week post-holiday decline” ever, according to Snyder.

14. EU

Spain’s unemployment rate is at an all-time of 26.7 percent.

13. EU

Italy’s unemployment rate is at an all-time of 12.7 percent.

12. EU

France’s unemployment rate has climbed for nine straight quarters and currently rests at 11 percent.

11. Currency

The Turkish Lira has plummeted in recent months.

10. Stocks

Japanese stocks saw the biggest decrease in seven months last Thursday.

Again, it’s important to remember that the above are signals that may point to something more ominous down the road. Snyder isn’t saying serious problems are just around the corner. Rather, he is advising readers to stay alert and aware.

“I also do not believe that the world is about to end. I do not believe that at all,” he wrote. “In fact, I believe that the coming economic collapse is going to unfold over a number of years.  This is something that I have said repeatedly.”

Click there to see the rest of the list.

(H/T: Zero Hedge)

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