1. During the second half of this year, U.S. growth is expected to remain unchanged, at about 1.7%.
2. Global growth is expected to be 3.0%, if Europe doesn’t “blow up.”
3. While they think Europe will instead “muddle through,” it remains the biggest risk.
4. Led by lower oil prices, inflation risks have weakened and remain moderate.
5. European growth will improve from a negative 0.3% this year to a positive 1.0%, a big change!
6. Growth in Japan will decrease from 2.4% this year to only 1.2% next year, another big change!
7. Russia continues to slow from 4.3% last year, to 3.4% this year, and 3.0% next year.
8. Mexico’s growth of 4.8% this year is expected to slow to 4.4% next year.
My first thought is that I wish I could be as sanguine about the ability of Europe to “muddle through.” While there is likely at least a 51% probability it will, the consequences of a “blow up” are huge. It is a potential cost that is disproportionate to the probability of it happening.
Second, while the immigration debate continues in this country, it seems less relevant today. The number of illegals coming from Mexico has now reversed. Many of those already here are returning to Mexico, whose economy is growing twice as much as ours. In addition, the birth rate in Mexico has plummeted; thanks to the now-legalized family-planning clinics. Indeed, we now have more Asians entering the U.S. than Mexicans.
Lastly, I remember the years of the Cold War when we breathlessly compared our GDP growth with Russia, as if it settled some argument about either communism or capitalism. That argument is over: Capitalism won! But, who is more capitalistic? The U.S. or China?