Daily Management Review

Credit Suisse: What to Expect from World Economies?


At the end of 2014, the US was the only bright spot among the world's largest economies. China's economic growth had slowed, Europe was on the brink of deflation, and Japan was coping with recession.

However, the performance of the US economy became worse in 2015. Economic indicators show that the US GDP fell by 0.7% in I quarter.

A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that the performance of the US economy in the first quarter of the year has traditionally been rather weak over the last 25 years, even after seasonal adjustments.

Whether influenced the performance of I quarter 2015 seasonal anomalies or structural weaknesses of the economy, Credit Suisse said that soon the situation will be sought both in the US and in other countries.

Here is the outlook for the second half of the year for the world's largest economies.

US recovery

The sharp decline in oil prices during the second half of 2014 brought both positive and negative consequences.

In the IV quarter, there was an increase in consumer spending of 4.4% compared to the same period last year - the highest rate since 2006. Many stick this growth in consumption to the fact that people were able to save on fuel.

However, a significant reduction in drilling among US oil companies led to a decline in industrial production, investment, and reduce the number of orders for manufactured goods at the beginning of 2015.

James Sweeney, chief economist at investment bank Credit Suisse, expects that the combination of a strong labor market and the cheap oil will continue to support retail sales.

The pace of industrial production is also projected to grow over the coming months. Overall, Credit Suisse economists predict GDP growth of 2.2% in 2015.

Economic growth will help to ensure that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Credit Suisse economists expect this step in September.

Europe: everything goes according to plan

Just like in in the US, cheap oil has led to a significant increase in consumer spending among Europeans.

But, unlike the US, this effect had been maintained until the beginning of 2015, in addition to the program of quantitative easing, which the ECB announced in January.

The European financial system is also showing improvement through a combination of central bank intervention and the positive results of stress tests that were conducted last year. The volume of loans increased and interest rates on these loans were reduced.

The combination of the possibility to save on fuel cheapened, more functional system of monetary stimulus and cheap euro should help to ensure that the economic situation in the region would be developed according to plan in the second half of the year.

Nevertheless, some investors began to worry about the fact that the growing economy may force the central bank to start reducing the program for assets acquisition. However, Neville Hill of Credit Suisse believes that core inflation (0.5%) is still too low for ECB to take this step.

The real risk to this region is the likelihood that Greece will not be able to reach an agreement with creditors.

Japan: stabilization

Tax increases can have long-term consequences.

Expectations increase in sales tax in April 2014 led to a rise in consumer spending, investments in the household, as well as to the growth of public infrastructure projects in 2013 and early 2014.

However, since the beginning of autumn 2014, consumer spending fell sharply. To make things worse, inflation in food nullified all attempts to save that consumers do amid falling fuel prices.

However, Credit Suisse economists believe that domestic demand should start to grow this year. Meanwhile, foreign demand for Japanese goods remained relatively high and is projected to remain at the same level.

Nevertheless, it is expected that economic growth in Japan will be only 0.7% in 2015. This is better than the results of 2014, but still not very impressive.

At the same time, analysts are warning that the Bank of Japan may introduce incentives in 2015

China attempts to accelerate

Most recently, the news was that the Chinese authorities let the growth reach "only" 7.5%.

In I quarter of 2015, economic growth slowed to 5.3% seasonally adjusted - this is the lowest growth rate since 2006.

Credit Suisse experts believe that the Chinese government will inject more liquidity into the system, allowing banks to borrow more money from the central bank.