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Economic Perspectives

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES

Global Economic Outlook

PDF 408kApril 15, 2014

Forecasts for global economic growth for 2014 haven’t changed since the start of the year, even though the start was uneven and slower than expected in some areas due to bad weather. We still see global growth rising 3.1% in 2014, up from 2.4% in 2013.

US

The Spring Rebound—Bigger Than Expected

PDF 97kApril 17, 2014
Senior Vice President and Director—Global Economic Research

We’ve been more optimistic about faster US economic growth in 2014 than most analysts, and our viewpoint was sorely tested by severe winter weather that seemed to impede economic progress. But recent data on employment, hours worked, retail sales and production collectively show a very strong spring rebound.

Asia

Asia’s Banking System to Remain Resilient Against Housing Correction

PDF 120kApril 17, 2014
Senior Vice President and Global Economic Research Analyst

Asian central banks appear increasingly conscious of the risks to their banking systems from a potential housing market downturn. In most Asian countries, however, macroprudential measures that are already in place and a lack of significant leverage suggest limited scope for a systemic crisis.

Australasia

Reserve Bank of New Zealand Rate-Hike Cycle Fully Priced?

PDF 187kApril 17, 2014
Manager—Australian Fixed Income Strategy and Research

This week’s lower-than-expected consumer prices data will do little to sway the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) from raising interest rates again next week. But they underscore the fact that a lot of things need to go “right” in order for the RBNZ to deliver the hikes that are already priced. The risk is that they fall short.

Europe

Can Greece Exit Its Bailout?

PDF 131kApril 11, 2014
Senior Vice President and Senior European Economist

With a successful bond auction this week, Greece’s ambitions to exit its bailout late this year have taken an important step forward. We believe such a bailout exit is now more likely. However, with debt still at very elevated levels, many of the country’s fundamental problems remain unresolved.

Japan

Japan: Murkier Waters Ahead

PDF 118kMarch 28, 2014
Vice President and Manager—Research and Strategy

The consumption tax hike on April 1 injects a large amount of uncertainty into Japan’s economic picture. It will be difficult for a while to discern the true underlying trend. Does greater uncertainty mean the Bank of Japan should be acting again?

Latin America

Brazil: Severe Drought Adds Economic Risk

PDF 111kMarch 21, 2014
Senior Economist—Latin America

The unusually dry season has depressed water levels in Brazil’s reservoirs, and a scenario of electricity shortages later this year can’t be ruled out. If energy rationing comes, it will hurt economic activity and the fiscal bottom line—possibly leading to a credit-rating downgrade.