Monday 15 April 2019
World – Macroeconomic Scenario for 2019-2020: prevention better than cure
In the US, the strength of the labour market (where the unemployment rate is at an all-time low despite the fact that the participation rate is not falling) has finally led to a rise in average wages, which, without any increase in inflation, will eat into firms' margins and productive investment. The contribution from net external demand is likely to be only very slightly negative, enabling growth to edge down ‘gently' towards its potential level of 2%.In the Eurozone, a marked drop in foreign demand is behind the sharp slowdown in growth. The slowdown has triggered fears that Eurozone growth, which came late to the phase of swift expansion, could brutally and prematurely drop off. But, as wages take up the slack from jobs, demand from households (consumption and housing investment) is proving resilient. Firms' high margin ratios and continued easy access to financing are conducive to investment. On the other hand, the outlook for any recovery in external demand is uncertain, and it is the incentive for investment that is giving way. Failing any recovery in exports, growth seems unlikely to exceed 1.2% in 2019.
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