For readers of Wall Street research, we’re getting close to the most exciting time of the year: Forecasters will start making their big predictions for the coming year and beyond.Of course, that will really start heating up in December, but it’s already beginning.
Recently UBS’ economics team of Larry Hathaway, Paul Donovan, Andrew Cates, and Christine Li came out with their forecasts and themes for 2012 and 2013.
First, they identify three big themes:
- Sovereign stress: This means a range of things, not just the crisis in Europe, but also the emergence of groups like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, which have coincided with a collapse in support for elected officials. Weak governments will wind up producing bad policies, which of course have all kinds of economic ramifications.
- Excess capacity: The world is beset with “swathes” of excess capacity, most notably seen via high unemployment in developed nations. Simple manufacturing capacity remains weak, which is a hindrance to growth and high wages, and it means that growth will be uneven. It also means inflation, mostly, won’t be much of an issue.
- An emerging world: As they put it, it’s the most obvious of the three. But the bottom line is that stronger balance sheets and better fundamentals will continue to bolster the emerging world.
Now, as for specific predictions for the economy in 2012 and 2013…
- Global GDP growth of 3.1% in 2012 and 3.4% in 2013.
- The eurozone will be in a recession in early next year. 2013 will see eurozone growth of just 1%.
- The US will avoid recession, growing 2.3% in 2012 and 2.7% in 2013.
- Emerging economies will engage in more monetary and fiscal stimulus, and maintain their trend growth rates.
- Central banks around the world will keep monetary policy very loose. The Fed will lift interest rates in the second half of 2013.
- The biggest downside risk is an intensification of the eurozone crisis.
- The biggest upside risk is much better coordinated global economic policy.
Anyway, as we said, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Predictions Season. We’ll be bringing you a lot more.