Resilience in 2020
We at PTC are always looking to the future. It’s the way businesses survive. Looking to the past is helpful, but having a feel for the future is critical. Of course, no one knows for sure what is going to happen, but let’s take an educated guess with the help from our friends at Well Fargo.
Another test of the global economy’s resilience in 2020.
Experts report that we can expect slow global economic growth again this year, but four trends could create crosscurrents that raise the risk of recession. Two of those trends involve China. First, China continues to prioritize services growth over construction and manufacturing. Second, the U.S.-China trade dispute likely will weigh on manufacturing and commodity consumption. These two trends have global implications, especially for Europe and Asia, where machinery and commodity exports are a relatively large part of local economies. Economic growth is expected to downshift in the U.S., Europe, and much of Asia.
As a third trend, employment growth in services should remain a steady and positive economic growth driver across these same markets. In turn, more jobs and rising wages should continue to support stable consumer spending. We anticipate ongoing U.S. job expansion, albeit at a slower rate than in 2019. Rising average U.S. wages should continue attracting workers back into the labor force. As job seekers return, the U.S. unemployment rate should remain near multi-decade lows.
The belief is that there will be subdued business spending growth and steady-to-lower commodity prices which should contain global inflation near central bank target rates in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Low inflation, slow economic growth, and political uncertainties may compel further interest rate cuts but we don’t know to what effect.
The fourth expected trend addresses that question, as falling interest rates may not stimulate faster personal spending growth while the geopolitical risks loom large. Until the 2008 financial crisis, falling interest rates led to lower savings rates. After that, interest rates fell further, but cautious households increased their savings.
These four trends underpin forecasts for slowing economic growth and low inflation for the U.S. and the largest international economies. The overall forecast for world economic growth is marginally below the 2019 estimates, although a few emerging economies such as Brazil, Mexico, and South Africa are reaccelerating after some weak periods. When we consider the world’s largest marketing, the dichotomy between solid consumer spending and slowing business spending implies that the global economy is still not firing on all cylinders.
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David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with Barclay’s Real Estate Group based in Jacksonville, FL. He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email email@example.com.