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A quarterly publication setting out the Crédit Agricole scenario for the economy, interest rates and currencies in the main economic regions, ie, the Americas, Europe and Asia.
We have had to revise down our cautiously optimistic March outlook slightly, for two reasons. First, US growth will be lower than expected in 2015 due to a disappointing first quarter. Secondly, the slowdown in the emerging countries will be a little more marked than originally forecast, with recessions in particular. Despite the improved outlook for growth in the Eurozone, the world economy as a whole is ultimately set to grow more slowly in 2015 than in 2014, before a rebound in 2016.
The recovery, which was restricted to the US and UK only a few months ago, is now definitely spreading to other countries. The growth upticks in the Eurozone and Japan differ from the cruising speed now achieved in the US. First off, they are far more modest. They are also more fragile, as they owe a great deal to the drop in oil prices. Another support factor, this time linked more to economic policies, is the relative strength of the US dollar.
The contrast is striking between the US economy, which currently seems able to generate self-sustaining growth, and the European and Japanese economies, which despite large-scale stimuli are still posting disappointing performance. In United States, it is undoubtedly private consumption which is mainly driving recovery. Housing and productive investment are also upbeat, while currently low energy prices are also giving an extra little boost.
The fact that things seem to be normalising in the US is not just a piece of luck. It is very probably the consequence of a series of past initiatives that have begun to bear fruit. Elsewhere, the sense of clarity is definitely poorer. In Europe, and especially within the Eurozone, the situation remains confused and prospects are bleak.
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