Over the last year, the US economy has made a profit on combination of stable growth, strengthening leading indicators, modest inflation, as well as gradually rising interest rates. And I think US will continue its growing tendency in 2018-2022. Also the US manufacturing sector is demonstrating the strongest expansion since 2011 and in my view will lead to increasing in manufacturing jobs. In addition I don't expect that US-China trade tensions will make direct negative impact on the US economy, so I bet on further sustained growth of the country?s economy.
I think that exchange rate, commodity prices and strong US economy will keep deficit of the external account of Canada in 2018-2022. Apart from oil, I expect low commodity prices in coming years and this will make negative impact on the current-account. Now we see healthy private consumption, which supported by continued strong household spending against the backdrop of the low interest rates, cheap fuel and an improving labour market. However, monetary policy tightening and increasing prices on the energy resources will slowdown in the private consumption in the near-term. Therefore I forecast slowdown in economic growth of Canada in 2018-2022.
The US economy is one of the most diversified national economies in the world and has been leading the world economy for the last 100 years. The US is having strong growth momentum and I think this trend will continue in 2018-2019. The strong labour market data will keep the Federal Reserve on a steady path of monetary tightening, so I expect an additional rate increase during 2018-2019. Geopolitical concerns in Europe and better-than-expected economic data of the US are driving the price of US dollar, however, the renewed trade war jitters may pause US dollar's rising anytime. In addition, I expect further growth of the US economy given by significant support from the tax reform and the budgetary expenditure
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.
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
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
European import is the main driver for the economy of Canada. As per official sources of EU officers they are not expect any increase of imports of goods. In contrary China and US market's tend to increase import from Canadian business. Thus, I put moderate increase in GDP for the next 2 years
Only positive signal is that the USA tax policy changes (I mean corporate tax increase) that would probable boost the recovery of economy - positive impact. Unemployment rate is low and continues to be at its natural level (4-5%). According to the key economic indicators the outlook for the US economy is healthy. I would suggest the estimation of real GDP to be within 2-3% for 2018-2020. Nonetheless President Trump promised to increase growth to 4 per cent, let's see.
Economic growth rate I expect to slow in the next two years as household consumption and government spending slows. Recent developments in consumption has not been transferred to the increase in wages and I think that house prices will continues to slow, no considerable job growth (if any at all). They also did not announced any substantial government investments. Thus, I project the growth of Canadian economy to ease
Trump administration and al around political situation add more uncertainly of the opportunity of return rate on investment, that would surely restrain new investors to spend. Also, we need to particularly emphasis the movements of the USA government toward trade protectionism (e.g. 25% import duty on series of china products). This brings us more economic risk in the USA due to the answer from China in trade wars game. The next step from the USA I would expect (a) restrains in foreign investments from China into the USA and (b) defense of intellectual property (copyrights) of US companies (we know how Chinese producers have been copying western brands). All these put more pressure on economic outlook. But I would expect the real GDP growth would be limited by c2% for the next two years