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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.
Our scenario is not exaggeratedly pessimistic – it is just realistic. It observes a new world, one that is politically chaotic and geopolitically worrying. There is no powerful global locomotive able to pull the carriages on which the last few passengers can finally embark. One aggravating factor is that the monetary fireman has been abandoned by his fiscal colleague and is desperately alone in his cab.
The economic growth figure we are now forecasting for 2015 is a tad disappointing. In the industrialised countries, activity may be accelerating more or less everywhere relative to 2014, but it is hesitant. In the advanced economies, the markets continue to benefit from a very upbeat environment. However, new doubts have emerged, this time focused on the emerging countries, starting with the biggest, China.
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.
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