The most realistic scenario for global growth is painful, even if we avoid a double dip. US growth in the second half of this year and into 2011 will feel like a recession, write Ian Bremmer and Nouriel Roubini.
It looks as if the global economy is heading for a serious slowdown this year. Emergency austerity programmes in some countries will put a drag on growth. Inventory adjustments will run their course. The effects of tax policies that steal demand from the future – such as the US “cash for clunkers” scheme, tax credits for home buyers or cash for green appliances – will fizzle out. Labour market conditions will remain weak. The slow and painful deleveraging of balance sheets and income-challenged households, financial institutions and governments will continue.
The result is governments and consumers that spent too much and now need to deleverage – in the US, Britain, Spain, Greece and elsewhere – will spend, consume and import less. But those governments and consumers that saved too much – in China, emerging Asia, Germany and Japan – are not spending more. In a world of excess supply, the recovery of global aggregate demand will be weak, pushing global growth much lower.