Contrary to the prevailing view, the U.S. economy will gain growth momentum in the year ahead, while GDP will grow stronger in Europe and Japan, research firm IHS Global Insight has said in its forecast for 2011.
The report, written by IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh and IHS Global Insight Economist Sara Johnson, also says that though emerging markets growth will slow down, their growth will still be three times faster than that of the developed world.
The following are the main forecasts by IHS:
More stimulus will push unemployment below 9 pct in US
The U.S. recovery will pick up steam as the year progresses. In 2011, the U.S. economy is likely to be firing on more cylinders. Housing investment will begin to recover and the United States will enjoy export-led growth. Additional fiscal stimulus will add 0.6 percent to growth in 2011 and push the unemployment rate below 9 percent by year's end.
Europe, Japan growth to be stronger
Europe and Japan will also see slightly stronger GDP growth in the second half of 2011. The pace of growth in Europe is slowing, mostly because of fiscal tightening and jitters about sovereign debt. Stronger exports and improved consumer spending (especially in Germany) will help by mid-year.
China, Brazil growth will diminish markedly
Emerging markets will slow, but continue to grow three times faster than the developed world. Among the big emerging markets, China and Brazil will see the most pronounced slowing trends (as fiscal and monetary tightening is used to cool these economies), while growth in India and Russia will not suffer much (if at all).
Rates will stay unchanged in G-7, rise in BRICs
Interest rates will remain on hold in the G-7, but keep rising in the BRICs. The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan are all going to keep policy rates on hold through most of 2011. In contrast, central banks in many of the large emerging markets and a few developed countries (e.g., Australia and Norway) will likely continue raising interest rates in 2011.
European economies will go for more fiscal tightening
Fiscal policy will become tighter in many large economies. Most countries in Europe will be tightening fiscal policy—some of their own accord and some under duress (e.g., Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain).
Commodities' rollercoaster ride to go on
Commodity prices will move up gradually. The rollercoaster ride of commodity prices could continue. By the end of 2011, most commodity prices will be 5–10% higher than today. Factors other than demand growth (e.g., inventories, excess capacity, exchange rates, and speculative activity) will influence the extent of increases.
Inflation to remain inconsequential in developed economies
Inflation will not be a problem in the developed economies, but will rise in many emerging markets. Consumer price inflation in the advanced economies will average around 1.4% in 2011, compared with 5.5% in the developing world. Strong growth and fixed or managed exchange rates will contribute to upward price pressures.
Trade imbalances to stay the course
Global imbalances will neither worsen nor improve by much. The U.S. current-account deficit is likely to stabilize around $500 billion. A weaker dollar and strong emerging markets’ growth will help exports, but rising oil prices will raise import costs. Current-account surpluses of China and the Eurozone will hold steady for awhile.
Dollar will rise
The dollar will slide against most currencies, with the possible exception of the euro. A two-speed world and still-large global imbalances will have a predictable impact on exchange rates—downward pressure for the “crawling” economy currencies and upward pressures for the “galloping” economy currencies.