MAPFRE’s economic research predicts global slowdown

The global economy exhausts its cycle by slowing down after having reached the highest level of growth during 2018, until it approaches the current values that are in line with its trend growth. This is according to MAPFRE’s Economic Research.

In this new context, the US economy plays a central role on the future development of the world economy. This is because of its international visibility, the implications of its trade policy, and its effect on the financial markets.

In general, 2019 is expected to be a year with less intense growth both in economic activity and in prices with asymmetric financial conditions between the different economies. Although there are indications of imbalances in the balance sheets of certain economic agents, none of them imply a risk that transforms into a global crises, but rather and orderly change.

Global growth could be around 3.3% in 2019. Developed markets will grow by 2%, supported by domestic demands, gains in financial and real wealth and financial conditions. On the other hand, emerging markets are expected to grow 5%, due to an improvement in global financial conditions and to the relaxation in the rate of depreciation of currencies.

The Eurozone notes the slowdown already seen since the second quarter of 2018, after having reached the cyclical peak in the transition between 2017 and 2018. The most recent data anticipate a growth of the Eurozone in 2018 that will not exceed 1.9% in 2018 (far from 2.5% in 2017), and given the more advanced indicators such as the PMIs, the slowdown is likely to continue during 2019. Thus, it is not expected to grow more than 1.7% this year.

Global monetary policy is also defined by asymmetry. The bias towards neutrality of the US Federal Reserve stands out against the continued laxity of the Bank of Japan and, to a lesser extent, the European Central Bank. And all this in view of the expectation of relief in emerging markets after the tightening of their monetary position in 2018 as a response to the action of the Federal Reserve. Thus, the divergences in monetary policy between the United States and other developed markets will result in the maintenance of a relatively appreciated dollar, especially against the Euro and the Yen, and in a still depreciated position of emerging currencies.

As always, the proper coordination of fiscal and monetary policies will be the key factor in the realisation of these scenarios.

This content was supplied by MAPFRE Middlesea