Friday, January 2, 2015

Mainstream View: Forecast for 2015

We cover a lot of alternative view news and opinions here on the blog when we find credible sources that offer them. This is because the mainstream view is easily found in the mainstream media and many people already know what it is. But we do try to make the sure the mainstream view is represented here as well so that readers can compare mainstream views and forecasts to alternative views over time. For the average person, what matters is what actually happens. 

With that in mind, here is an excellent article published by Bloomberg Businessweek that looks ahead to 2015 with a mainstream point of view. Readers can compare this vision of what will happen in 2015 to alternative views like Jim Rickards for example. Below is an excerpt from this Bloomberg article. Readers are highly encouraged to read the entire article which covers a lot of ground.


"Whether you’re the CEO of a multinational or a sole proprietor, it pays to have a sense of where the opportunities lie and the dangers lurk in 2015. That’s what this special issue is about. In the following pages, we offer a detailed look at key people, industries, and regions, along with the most important emerging trends. This introduction focuses on the macroeconomic picture—in other words, the conditions that will help or hinder all you strivers in 2015."
"The map gives a snapshot of what’s ahead, based on the latest IMF forecast. South America is a mess, with Argentina and Venezuela leading the losers’ parade and Brazil not far behind. Russia and Western Europe are weak. All three economies of North America are looking pretty solid. The strongest growth is projected to be in South and East Asia as well as much of Africa, which is starting from a low base. Then there’s Greenland, which is  …  large. (The Mercator projection exaggerates the polar latitudes.)"
"The unifying theme is that the global economy is taking longer than expected to recuperate from the bursting of the debt bubble during the last decade. Three years ago, the IMF projected that the world economy would be back on track by 2015, growing at 4.8 percent. The U.S. has pretty much met the IMF’s (diminished) expectations. The disappointments, says the IMF, have been the BRIC nations—Brazil, Russia, India, and China—as well as parts of the Middle East, Europe, and Japan."
"That’s led the IMF to reduce its forecast for 2015 global growth to 3.2 percent. It projects 3.1 percent growth for the U.S. next year, just 1.3 percent in the euro area, and 0.8 percent for Japan. China’s projected 7.1 percent growth, high compared with other nations’, would be the country’s lowest in 15 years. China isn’t geared for such a slowdown: Indebted investors such as property developers could default on a large scale if expansion comes in much below their expectations. The disparity in growth rates among the big four economies—the U.S., China, Japan, and the euro zone—was what Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was referring to in October when he told Bloomberg, “You need all four wheels to be moving, or it isn’t going to be a good ride.”

. . . . . . .

"For the U.S. economy, the most critical unknown is whether 2015 will be the year the Federal Reserve finally begins to raise the federal funds rate, which it has locked at zero to 0.25 percent since the end of 2008. The lowest funds rate in history was perceived as an emergency measure during the financial crisis, but the economy still hasn’t shown that it can thrive without it. Critics say that cheap money is inflating asset bubbles and that the unemployment rate—5.9 percent in September—is as low as it can get without generating dangerous wage inflation."

My added comment:

Readers will note that this mainstream view talks about the fact the the global economy has been slower to recover than expected and notes that problems in other areas of the world (China is specifically pointed out) will impact the rest of the world. 

The mainstream view right now is that the US economy is recovering well, but could be negatively impacted by the global economy in 2015. The mainstream view does not anticipate either a major stock market decline or any significant higher moves up for oil, gold or silver. There is no expectation that another financial crisis will emerge in 2015. The expectation is that the US recovery will continue at a slow and steady pace in 2015 and how the economy reacts to higher interest rates from the Fed will be keyWe'll see what actually happens and cover it here.

Added note: John Makin of the American Enterprise Institutue (AEI) writes this article in which he admits that 2014 surprised him and was a much better year than he and many others expected. But then he says this about 2015:

"So what’s not to like?

Well, enjoy your New Year’s champagne. Looking ahead, US wealth stagnated during the third quarter and probably is rising only modestly in the current/fourth quarter. The Fed wants to tighten and the rest of the world is stagnating. The 2014 mid-year growth surge will be temporary and extrapolative optimism for 2015 will prove unfounded. US growth will slow back to a below trend level, perhaps including a couple of negative quarters before settling back to its 2.5 percent trend pace."

So, there are still doubters out there as we will see in our next blog post tomorrow.

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