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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.
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.
One shouldn't always extrapolate from the recent past. Markets and economists seem to agree that the disappointment early this year regarding the improvement in global economic conditions will be short-lived. The "managing of expectations" by central banks is proving more complicated than expected. Geopolitical risk is higher. There is still no sign of volatility disappearing from the markets!
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