The world’s financial and political elite will head this week to the Alps for 2013’s gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the global economy far less plagued by fear than it was last year.

Much-feared worldwide panics from a collapse of the euro currency union have been avoided. China appears likely to remain an engine of global growth. Stocks are off to a running start in the New Year.

"There’s a sense of relief that the worst didn’t happen ... and I think that relief is probably justified," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight.