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Economic Perspectives

US

Housing Construction: The Long-Awaited Upturn Has Arrived

PDF 280kJanuary 23, 2015
Senior Vice President and Director—Global Economic Research

New housing construction has been unusually slow to recover, owing to weak household finances, low confidence and tight financing conditions. Yet today the tide is turning, and a number of factors paint a bright outlook for new residential construction in 2015.

Canada

Bank of Canada Unexpectedly Cuts Policy Rate After Oil Decline

PDF 246kJanuary 23, 2015
Director—Global Economic Research

Earlier this week, the Bank of Canada (BoC) surprised markets by cutting its policy rate by 25 basis points, to 0.75%. The bank reasoned that the policy rate move will provide insurance against the downside risks to inflation and financial stability that have materialized as a result of the recent collapse in oil prices.

Latin America

Brazil: The Year of Adjustment

PDF 281kJanuary 23, 2015
Senior Economist—Latin America

Brazil’s ambitious fiscal adjustment package should help reduce its imbalances and stabilize its debt ratios. In the near term, it probably means a further contraction in economic activity. But in the end, we expect it to boost private investment and produce faster, more stable growth.

Europe

ECB launches Credible QE Program

PDF 275kJanuary 23, 2015
Senior Vice President and Senior European Economist

The ECB’s surprisingly aggressive quantitative easing (QE) program is unlikely to transform the outlook for the euro-area economy. But there’s already a lot of economic stimulus in the pipeline, mainly from the lower oil price and weaker euro. Euro-area growth is likely to accelerate this year—with or without any help from QE.

Asia

Key Risk Areas That Shape China’s 2015 Outlook

PDF 372kJanuary 23, 2015
Senior Vice President and Global Economic Research Analyst

China seems to be at peace with lower growth rates, embracing them as part and parcel of its “new normal”, but that doesn’t mean that policymakers can sit idly as the economy faces structural growth headwinds, unstable stock, debt and property markets, the need for tough reforms and a tricky exchange rate-environment.

Australasia

Australia: Still Fundamentally Bearish

PDF 139kJanuary 16, 2015
Senior Vice President and Senior Economist–Asia Pacific

Despite a couple of better jobs readings, we remain downbeat about Australia’s prospects for the next few years. The long shadow of the commodity price bust remains the key theme. The next phase? Weaker LNG prices and, perhaps, the long-anticipated housing correction.

ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES

Global Economic Outlook

PDF January 16, 2014

The global growth cycle remains slow and uneven. Based on the latest forecasts, global GDP is expected to grow by 2.6% in 2014 and by 3.1% in 2015. This lackluster growth nvironment, along with low—if not declining—inflation in some countries, is expected to compel central banks to ease policy further. In this group, we‘d include the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of Japan (BOJ), People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and a number of central banks in developing economies.