The Global Economy
The world’s major economies are growing harmoniously, a result of persistent low-interest-rate stimulus from central banks around the world and the rise out of debt for nations faced with political and economic uncertainty, such as Greece and Brazil.
The OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tracks the progress of its 45-member states. These nations are on track to grow this year, and 33 of them are projected to accelerate significantly from the previous year, according to the OECD.
“For the first time in years we are seeing signs of continuous, synchronized economic expansion on the international front” said Keith Knutsson of Integrale Advisors.
U.S. exports rose 6% in the first half of the year, the best two-quarter performance since the end of 2013. The post-election period has been categorized by economic strength as well record-breaking index growth, such as the DJA and Nasdaq averages. In addition, central bankers, gathering this week for the Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming could disrupt the upwards trend if the financial stimulus package is reduced too quickly. In September, the Fed is to begin reducing $4.5 trillion in holdings building up over the past decade.
Economic growth in the eurozone outpaced the U.S. in the first and second quarter of the year. Business confidence is at its highest level in a decade, with unemployment falling to an eight-year low of 9.1%. Spain recorded its best growth performance in nearly two years in Q2 2017, with France and Portugal also producing solid growth. In Italy, exports are up 8% from the previous year. Even troubled eurozone economies, such as Greece, are finally show signs of strength. The OECD is predicting 1% growth for Greece this year. This is the best performance projected for the nation in over a decade. In July, Greece returned to the international bond market after being locked out since 2014.
Japan’s economy grew 4% in the three months through June, extending its most recent streak of growth under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. One of the primary drivers of growth is consumer spending; Nissan Motor Co. saw a rise in Japanese sales by 46% in June thanks to the popularity of newly released models.
The rebound of the Commodity market has produced a new sense of confidence in emerging markets. The IMF’s global price index for all commodities is up 27% from the start of 2016. The Brazilian economy is now forecast to expand 0.3% in 2017. While this outlook hinders the U.S. equity market, investors in other countries have benefited: Indexes in Hong Kong, Turkey, Argentina, Poland and Greece are all up more than 20% this year.
In July, the IMF projected global economic output would increase 3.5% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018. The growth increase is lifting the spirits of investors and boosting economic confidence throughout the world.
For other articles by Keith Knutsson see the following links: