Fitch slashes forecasts for global growth

Updated: 2011-10-04 08:25


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NEW YORK - Fitch Ratings on Monday revised down its growth forecasts for all major advanced economies in its latest quarterly Global Economic Outlook, citing growth stalled at rates not seen since 2009.

According to Fitch, the world economy will expand at a rate of 2.6 percent in 2011, compared with 3.1 percent in the previous report, 2.7 percent in 2012 compared with 3.4 percent previously, and 3.1 percent in 2013 from 3.4 percent previously.

Fitch also downgraded its US growth forecasts for the year of 2011 and 2012 to 1.5 percent and 1.8 from 2.6 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.

For the euro zone countries, Fitch said that base effects from a strong first quarter leave the 2011 full-year forecast little changed at 1.6 percent compared with 1.7 percent previously forecasted, while the growth rate for 2012 has been revised sharply down to 0.8 percent from 1.8 percent.

Fitch expected that Japan's GDP in 2011 will fall 0.3 percent instead of expanding 0.5 percent as previously forecasted due to the deterioration of the global outlook, reinforced by the impact of the strong yen on Japan's exporters, as well as slower-than- expected progress in overcoming disruption from the March disasters

Meanwhile, Fitch also revised down its 2011 and 2012 GDP forecasts for Brazil, Russia, India and China, signaling that emerging markets will not decouple from advanced economies despite having more robust growth prospects.

Fitch expects China's economy to grow by 8.7 percent in 2011 and 8.5 percent in 2012, saying the global economy poses the main risk to China's prospects. However, the persistence of inflation indicates the short-run growth/inflation trade-off may be a source of risk to the agency's base case.

While being more pessimistic to the economic outlook, Fitch doesn't see the risk of "double dip" for the moment. "Fitch does not project a 'double-dip' in its baseline global economic projections. However, the likelihood of a recession has increased, as intensified financial market volatility could further amplify risk aversion behavior and lead to tighter credit conditions," said Maria Malas-Mroueh, director in Fitch's sovereign team.