G20, Real GDP YOY%
G20, Real GDP YOY%
Saudi Arabia2.1-
South Africa0.91.611.71.91.8
South Korea2.
United Kingdom1.
United States1.
[Positive] Teg: South Korea

In the near-term, I assume that Korean economy will be able to show relatively high growth rate (~3% in 2018-19) as a result of export growth (especially, in semiconductor industry) and fiscal stimulus (through government expenses increasing). In the long term, economic outlook is hazy as it relies on the possibility to solve fundamental economic problems (high level of unemployment, population ageing, high power of large enterprises called chaebol and low level of competitiveness), as well as on external political factors (negative - USA might withdraw from free-trade agreement, positive - possible recovery of relationship with North Korea).

[Negative] Teg: Brazil

Despite recent stabilization in Brazilian economy after recession in 2015-2016, I assume that this recovery will be short-lived. The thing is, budget deficit remains high and its reduction might lead to both growth lowering (due to reduction of government spending) and social instability (due to unpopular measures such as raise the retirement age). As a result, political crisis is quite possible and, if so, that will lead to second wave of recession

[Negative] Teg: South Africa

In spite of installation of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new president and following increasing confidence from the international community and investors, I don't have positive outlook for the South African economy. Tighter fiscal policy and a rise of taxes to keep debt under control and prevent additional credit downgrades, will impede efforts to boost growth. Also structural constraints such as skills shortages and inefficient state-owned companies will continue to weaken economic activity, as well as negative external balance will affect the economic growth in the mid-term.

[Negative] Teg: United Kingdom

After Brexit referendum in 2016 UK economy growth rate is constantly decreasing (2015 = 2.3%, 2016 = 1.9%, 2017 = 1.8%). And I assume that full negative effect from both Brexit and entrenched UK economy problems will be felt by UK only in 2019 (planned exit from the EU is March 2019). 1) Productivity problem. During last decade UK's productivity growth is constantly slowing down. As a result, Office for Budget Responsibility's long-term productivity forecast was halved down to 1.2%. 2) Higher inflation due to weaker sterling and, thus, weaker consumer spending power due to Brexit. I assume that weaker consumer spending power is the major cause of slower UK economy growth. One should note that this negative effect is partially offset by industrial production and export growth on the back of weak sterling and global growth. However, I believe that this positive offset will be quite limited as real investments will decline due to political uncertainty. Additional consequence of this factor is accelerating (double-digit) growth in unsecured lending (however, current level of consumer debt to GDP is still below pre-crisis level). 3) UK/EU deal uncertainty. UK wants to maintain a special trading relationship with the EU after leaving EU, but EU, obviously, does not want to give UK such benefits. I assume that negative outcome for UK is quite probable. As a result, additional slowing of UK economy in 2019 is highly likely

[Positive] Teg: India

I think that further economic growth in India, with an average annual GDP growth of 7.6% in 2018-2023, will be supported by strong increases in private consumption and accelerating gross fixed investment. However, this will depend on progress in recapitalizing the banking sector, because a lack of broader reforms in the sector will continue to place constraints on lending activity. Also I see positive impact for the investor sentiment in government measures for improving the business environment, such as tax reforms and the increased digitalization of government-to-business services. However, India's trade deficit will remain high in 2018-2022, due to price of crude oil, which is India's largest import item in value terms. Exports will increase, but the rate of growth will be incommensurable in comparison with imports growth.

[Positive] Teg: China

I believe that China is able to achieve its goal, announced in April 2018 by the Communist Party of China, to double real GDP by 2020 compared with the level in 2010, that would require real GDP growth to average at least 6.3% a year in 2018-2020. Money squeeze in 2017 will make negative impact on economic activity, however, I think this is likely to be offset by looser economic policy settings. Therefore consumption and investment growth will remain stable in 2018. The external sector is sensible to US-China trade tensions, but I don't expect an escalation into full-blown trade war that could have a major impact on GDP growth in China. And in spite this trade frictions I expect that China's large merchandise trade surplus will expand over 2018-2022. Also, according to my expectations, the consumer prices will grow by an average of 2.6% per year in 2018-2022

[Positive] Teg: Brazil

After recession in 2015-2016 Brazil shows strong signs of recovery. The major problem of Brazil economy was high inflation that led to (1) decreased real consumption (coupled with high unemployment rate), (2) higher interest rate (for both households and government). Banco Central do Brazil was able to take prices under control and, thus, ensuring a healthy mix of falling inflation and lower interest rates. The result is economy growth due to (1) private consumption increasing, (2) unemployment decreasing, (3) export increasing. Nevertheless, budget deficit remains high and that creates risks. That is why I assume that next steps might be (1) limitation of government expenses, (2) privatization, (3) pension reform (particularly, unpopular measures such as raise the retirement age).

[Negative] Teg: Russia

The confrontation between Russia and the West intensified statist, nationalist and protectionist trends within the government. At this case the main priority for the Russian government will be economic sovereignty, which would be expressed by insulating the economy from external shocks. The main tools of this strategy include a large positive sovereign external asset position, protectionist measures to support domestic manufacturing through import substitution and a cautious approach to foreign investment. In my view the implementation of this strategy as part of transformation period will be associated with a slowdown in the Russian economy growth rate in the medium term. Also the weakness of most political and legal institutions, as well opaque governance system, will put additional pressure on the country in this transitory period.

[Negative] Teg: Japan

I expect that Japan economy will continue to grow with growth rate approximately equals to average growth rate in 2012-2017 (Abenomics beginning). The key driver for this is export growth (machinery, chemicals, and non-ferrous metals) due to weak yen and global economy growth. Monetary situation remains healthy as well: despite recent acceleration in inflation, its forecast is still below BoJ target. However, one should note several challenges for Japan economy: 1) Near-term challenges: (1) recent strengthening of yen that increases Japanese exporters concern, (2) weakness in consumer spending due to wages decreasing, as well as new housing construction falling. 2) Fundamental long-term challenge: planned increasing of national sales tax in 2019 from 8% to 10% to cover deficit in pension system (due to Japanese demographic situation). I assume that this will lead to economic growth slowing down (as in 2014 when this tax was increased from 5% to 8%)

[Positive] Teg: Germany

In spite of the current tense relations within the EU, Germany is likely to remain the most powerful economic and political player in the EU due to the structural elements supporting German power within the bloc and most importantly its dominant economy. In my view Germany will continue to demonstrate huge trade surpluses, reflecting the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector and comparably low levels of domestic consumption and investment. This will continue to generate large domestic savings that are generally investing to another countries, providing a a strong primary income surplus. I expect the current-account surplus to remain solid, decreasing consistently to just above 6% of GDP by 2022. As well as I expect that average annual inflation will be at the level of 1.7% in 2018-2022.

[Neutral] Teg: United States

In the near term (1-2 year), I expect that Trump administration will be able to accelerate US economy growth: 1) 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act' (that assumes decrease in corporate tax) and 'Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018' (that assumes to raise the spending limits for both defense and non-defense funding). 2) Protectionist policy: possible NAFTA cancelation, exit from TPP, recently announced import taxes for steel and aluminum, etc. However, one should note that even in near-term there are some issues that could limit the positive effect of proposed measures. First, unemployment rate is at the lows, thus, additional spending could lead to higher inflation (not real activity). Second, interest rates are likely to be risen that lower demand. Third, effect for real investment growth due to proposed tax cut could be overestimated (capital costs have been very low for a long time, but investment growth was modest). Nevertheless, I think that major concern is US economy's long-term perspective. Proposed measures will increase fragility of US economy due to increased risks and, as a result, I assume that negative scenario is quite possible: 1) higher interest rates: decreasing of demand on US Treasuries (as other assets will become more attractive) coupled with supply increasing (to finance proposed program), 2) significant decreasing in government stimulus after 2020 due to need to maintain increased debt with higher interest rate, 3) higher inflation, 4) overall cost increasing in economy as a result of protectionism

[Negative] Teg: Italy

I think that domestic demand growth in Italy and positive outlook for the euro zone economy will be completely offset by political instability in the country. Political uncertainty has increased the potential for financial volatility and could harm the current moderate economic recovery, as well as further postpone of structural reforms at least in the short term. In spite of the possible support by the EU, Italy's high public debt and political instability will continue to give rise to concern for the major euro zone creditor countries, as well as put pressure on stability in the EU and financial sector.

[Neutral] Teg: Canada

I expect that Canada will be able to continue its stable growth: IMF's forecast for GDP growth in 2018 is ~2.1%, unemployment rate is at the lowest level since 70s (5.8%). However, despite all these obvious signs of recovery, one should note some concerns: 1) NAFTA renegotiation. USA is very important market for Canada (2/3 of export) and, thus, NAFTA is very important agreement for Canada (that makes Canadian products competitive on US market). However, now the future of NAFTA is questionable. Moreover, taking into account Trump's protectionist policy, I consider the case for USA to withdraw from a treaty as rather probable. 2) Household debt. According to OECD, households in Canada have the highest debt-to-income ratio (> 100%) in the developed world. Coupled with the lowest unemployment rate, I consider these as a fundamental internal constraints for Canada's long-term growth. 3) US tax reform. On the one hand, this reform is likely to support US GDP growth and, consequently, Canada's GDP growth (as Canadian economy is heavily reliant on US economy). However, on the other hand, lower corporate tax was one of the Canada's competitive advantages (comparing with USA), and, consequently, this reform is likely to decrease foreign direct investments. 4) Higher US Fed interest rate. It is likely that US Fed will increase interest rate. And the net result for Canada is rather questionable. On the one hand, that will likely lead to Canadian dollar weakening and, thus, Canadian export support. On the other hand, US dollar strengthening will lead to world economy slowing down.

[Negative] Teg: India

India's outlook is more positive as many investors and agencies think, but such a positive factors are something like promises of the government's projection. I am very skeptical on this. Around 40% of industrial facilities face with low capacity utilization rate, infrastructure is poor in comparison to China, many banks have on its balance a lot of non-performing assets wherethrough invested a lot into non-perspective sectors. Well, high-loaded investments in infrastructure is very critical for economy growth in India. But nowadays there is no any measurable action on it. Thus, I would suggest rather faded prospects for 2018-2019, but brighter right after 2019

[Negative] Teg: France

The government of France recently announced to raise energy and tobacco taxes pursuing to make growth reliing on green sectors and enhance the healthcare. The vogue for electric-car are growing fast. The fiscal stance is projected to be largely neutral over the projection horizon

[Positive] Teg: Saudi Arabia

The economy is expected to benefit this 2018 year from higher oil prices reflecting the success of cuts by OPEC and allies and strong as expected global growth compared to 2017. This additional revenue will help to boost internal consumption which constitute around the half of SA GDP. I would suggest a gradual growth in GDP from 2.2% in 2018 up to 2.5% in 2021. Also, the government announced privatization of Saudi Aramco and some others assets, this should attract more foreign investors to Saudi Arabia. If it happens it would be the greatest oil stock IPO with the total value of more than 1.5 trillions of dolor (I am measuring by Price-to-Reserves multiple). How many shares the Government would offer we do not know but it is rationale around 5%-10% in IPO, which would result in 75-150 billion of dollars. This is a good sign for investors and opportunities that Saudi Arabia offers if they would not postpone privatization as it was...

[Neutral] Teg: Russia

I just want to express one interesting point on the corruption in military sector in Russia. You all remember that Russia's Military Defense Minister Mr. Anatoly Serdyukov had been accused for wasteful spending of multi-billions of rubles which were dedicated to military upgrade and development. And what did Mr. Putin..., he just fired him but simultaneously they announced that this was an unprecedented corruption in Military Sector. Secondly, during this particular time Russians had not been doing any independent movement in global geopolitical scene. But right after that Mr. Putin demonstrated all his strength, military strength. I am assured that this was a strategic rational for this: they just showed to the world that Military Sector was under the control of such a man like Mr. Serdyukov in order to lull the world into a false sense of security that there were all thefts from senior to juniors in military sector of Russia and thus no development was possible....One day I had a meeting with senior military officer and he told me that Mr. Serdyukov never was in touch with any military officer.. This means that the Minister Mr. Serdyukov was just a folding screen behind which the really development of military force was underway. Maybe this is untrue but logically reasonable. I do not want to say that Russia does not have a corruption, It has indeed but I think that that strategic sectors are under close control.

[Negative] Teg: United States

As the US economy is totally integrated into a global economy, Trumps efforts to bound imports of goods from China and Mexico would effect that in short-run the domestic US consumption should be reduced since the upward pressure of appreciated goods (we clearly understand how much of import good Americans consume. Thus, my estimation of real GDP to remain at a 1.8% in 2018 and 2% in 2019

[Positive] Teg: Russia

Russian Government set 2% target growth for 2018 year, I would suggest two main factors which are the base of such growth forecast. Firstly, the growth of internal consumption due to inflation dropped (to 2-3 percent, a level never imaginable for Russia) which ultimately strengthen real wages and thus spending.. Secondly, oil prices, as we see there is a gradual and steady increase in global oil pricing high exceed 3 years history - above $70 per barrel, this brightens Russia's outlook. I would bet minimum 4% of GDP growth for the next 3 years

[Neutral] Teg: Germany

The main feature of German economy, as I think, is very high level of current accounts surplus (around 7-9% of GDP, this is one of the highest level within developed peers) This is one of the keys potential driver for economic growth. High surplus demonstrates that Germans and companies of the country still prefer to save rather than invest. The government should offer Germans some incentives to invest. Why not to increase a little bit of inflation (e.g. steady increase in wages, more government spending, etc.). I am sure this is like low-hanging fruits.