Global Economic Growth Is Modest, As Emerging Markets Disappoint But Developed Economies Hold Steady: Barclays Economists

 @natrudy
on June 21 2013 12:40 PM

Growth in global gross domestic product is slowing worldwide as emerging markets struggle, according to a quarterly research report released Friday by Barclays PLC (LON:BARC).

“Evidence of a pickup in global growth outside the U.S. is unlikely to emerge in the next few months,” according to a Barclays press release.

“With overall global GDP growth, we’ve become slightly less optimistic than last quarter,” said Barclays chief economist Dean Maki to a group of reporters in New York.

Barclays’ estimates for emerging markets, like China, India and Brazil, were revised down significantly, though global GDP forecasts were recast lower by less than 1 percent for both 2013 and 2014. Growth forecasts for developed economies remained stable.

“The downward revisions are pretty widespread across the emerging markets,” said Maki.

The report cautions that the emerging markets outlook is specific to each country, with Mexico, the Philippines and Malaysia deserving positive attention from investors. Local bonds in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand and Russia are also worth further attention.

China’s economy is still struggling through a difficult transition, according to Maki. A growth model dominated by investments and exports can’t continue indefinitely, with the time ripe for a Chinese transition to a consumer economy dominated by a robust service sector.

“But those sectors are not yet ready to prosper, and that’s a big reason why Chinese growth has slowed,” he said.

Barclays’ GDP growth forecasts for China were revised downward to 7.4 percent for 2013 and 2014, down from 7.9 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, in its last quarterly forecast.

Thankfully, Europe will no longer be a source of major economic scares and shocks this year, said Maki. Consumer spending in Japan is up on the back of optimism about Abenomics and ahead of expected consumer taxes imminent in 2014.

According to the report’s foreword, the U.S. is on track to deliver the strongest growth in 2014 since the start of the economic recovery, despite nervousness about monetary policy.

“U.S. fiscal tightening will have largely played out, housing will still be in a sharp uptrend, the wealth effect on consumption from rising stock and house prices may well be at its peak, and monetary stimulus will remain extraordinarily supportive,” wrote Larry Kantor, Barclays head of research, in the report foreword.

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