What are the risks to growth?
Mike Dicks, chief economist and blogger at Barclays Wealth, has identified what he sees as the three biggest problems facing the global economy, and conveniently found that they are linked with three separate regions.
First, there is the risk that U.S., t consumers won’t increase spending. Dicks notes that the increase in U.S. consumption has been “extremely moderate” and far less than after previous recessions. His firm has lowered is U.S. GDP forecast for 2011 to 2.7 percent from a bit over 3 percent.
Next comes the euro zone. While the wealth manager is not looking for any immediate collapse in EMU, Dicks reckons that without the ability to devalue, Greece and other struggling countries won’t see any great improvement in competitiveness. Germany, in the meantime, has sped up plans to cut its own deficit. It leaves the Barclays Wealth’s euro zone GDP forecast at just 1 percent for next year.
Finally, Asian growth is under threat from tightening policies. Dicks says this is the least problem of the three, but there are indications that powerhouse China needs a period of slower growth to get things under control.
So, there are three problems — and a not very bright outlook. Are there any others? Or are these three all being overstated?