International Economic Outlook: Will High Risk Events Trigger a Recession?

Will High Risk Events Trigger a Recession?

In the worldwide business cycle, the group of the English-speaking countries has led historically global economic activity. Monthly predictive analytics signal an underlying weakness for several months in the English-speaking countries, which have posted negative or steadily declining growth rates in their leading indicators.

Globally, trade predictive analytics, which summarize worldwide merchandize exports, clearly point out an undergoing global slowdown contradicting the media created myth of transitory snowstorms in New England as the cause of an economic downswing in the United States in the first quarter of this year. In March of this year, global exports, on a year-to-year basis, declined by 12.4%, the sixth consecutive monthly decline in a row following an expansion since October 2014.  On a quarterly basis, in the first quarter of 2015 global exports dropped 10.2% from a year ago to $3.7 trillion, following a 2.6% decline in the last quarter of 2014. A major trigger for such dramatic changes in each county’s business cycle has been the “burst” of the oil-price bubble coupled with currency realignments from the strengthening of the US dollar as well as a slowdown in the growth in emerging economies.

In addition to geopolitical risks related to Middle East and Eastern Europe, there is high probability of bursting this year one or more  policy-created bubbles.  A hard landing in China from housing prices and/or stock market corrections; disintegration of the Euro Area; high debt to income ratios – both private and public – in several countries; and the timing of an exit from an ill-conceived and permanent-perceived monetary policy of zero interest rates in the United States. Any of these events may trigger a significant correction in stock markets leading to another major recession with no tools left for economic policy. …Assigning a 40% probability that any of these events will come suddenly into play this year .

By Evangelos Otto Simos, Ph.D.


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