Fitch says global economy's performance worst since 2009

Fitch joins other financial institutions, warning about global slowdown, says world economy to grow weakest since global financial crisis

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday forecast that the global economy will grow by just 2.3 percent in 2015, the weakest growth since the worldwide financial crisis in 2009.

In its latest Global Economic Outlook, Fitch said the global economy would be dragged down by a recession in Brazil and Russia plus a structural slowdown in China and many emerging markets.

"We forecast a pick-up to 2.7 percent in 2016 and 2017 as growth recovers somewhat in emerging markets. Growth in major advanced economies is forecast to strengthen to 2 percent in 2016, the fastest since 2011," the report said.

It continued, "emerging markets are becoming increasing source of global growth risks as the collapse in commodity prices and political shocks exacerbate a secular slowdown. Our baseline forecast for China is a gradual slowdown to 6.3 percent in 2016 and 5.5 percent in 2017, from 6.8 percent in 2015.

“Although investment is slowing sharply, growth continues to be supported by robust consumption and policy easing. However, there are downside risks from the real estate sector, capital flows, and policy settings," the report added.

According to Fitch, India will take over as the fastest growing BRIC country this year, with 7.5 percent GDP growth, accelerating to 8 percent in 2016, driven by structural reforms and higher investment.

The current deep recession in Russia and Brazil (-4 percent and -3 percent in 2015, respectively) will be followed by only a weak recovery starting in 2016 in Russia (0.5 percent) and only in 2017 in Brazil (1.2 percent).

Fitch forecasts the US economy to grow by 2.5 percent in 2015 and 2016, followed by 2.3 percent in 2017 as the economy approaches full capacity. The labor market recovery is continuing, with unemployment down to 5.1 percent.

On Wednesday, US non-farm payrolls added 200,000 jobs in September, according to the ADP unemployment report.

Fitch also expects the eurozone recovery to continue.

"Our outlook is unchanged since the June report, with GDP growth forecast at 1.6 percent over 2015-2017.

“The gentle cyclical recovery is supported by a weaker effective exchange rate, low oil prices and easing financing conditions driven by the ECB's QE program that is being increasingly transmitted to the real economy. Nevertheless unemployment will remain above 10 percent until 2017," Fitch said.