Blog

INVESTING INSIGHTS
AT WILLIAM BLAIR

December 14, 2016 | Global Equity
What’s the Impact of Secular Stagnation on Global Growth?

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

William Blair Economist Olga Bitel examines the recent steady growth in world GDP – noting that a slowdown in global industrial production has coincided with a pronounced slowdown in China. Watch the video or read the recap below.

 

Global growth is decelerating broadly. How significant will the impact of secular stagnation on global growth be over the next decade? What are the main drivers of the slower economic growth?

Bitel: The world economy has grown by about 2.5% per year on average over the past four and a half years. The level of current (remarkably steady) growth is 1.5 percentage points lower than it was from 2004 to 2007, a period characterized by excessive leverage in most developed economies.

Taking a slightly longer perspective, the world economy has not had many years in which growth reached as high as 4%, and the current period of stability stands out amid volatility in the global economy over the past 35 years.

This picture of meaningfully slower growth is most evident in industrial production and global trade, so that is where we turn to for an explanation of the current conundrum and an indication of likely path of global growth over the next decade.

Meaningfully slower growth is most evident in industrial production and global trade, so that is where we turn to for an explanation of the current conundrum.

The slowdown in global industrial production coincides with a pronounced slowdown in China. Specifically, industrial production growth in China halved over the past four and a half years. We estimate that China’s industrial production accounts for nearly one-third of world industrial production, so China’s industrial slowdown has a major impact on the global economy.

To the extent that international trade is dominated by the goods sectors, the same pressures afflicting industrial production are evident here. In short, we believe the outlook for global growth hinges on stabilization of growth in industrial China. (See the chart below).

Global Equity Strategist

Olga Bitel, partner, is a global strategist. She is responsible for economic research and analysis across all regions and sectors. She distills macroeconomic and geopolitical developments into actionable insights for global equity portfolios within a multifaceted strategic framework. In addition, she provides insights about cyclical turning points and structural trends as inputs into portfolio construction in predominantly bottom-up investment approaches. Before joining William Blair in 2009, Olga was a senior economist at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in London, United Kingdom, where she produced macroeconomic forecasts for most Asian economies and led thematic research projects for some of the world’s best-known international organizations, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Monetary Fund. Olga received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Related Posts

Subscribe to Our Blog

Gain insights about macro market events, the economy, and investing strategies. Choose your desired email alert (new post, weekly digest, or “A Step Ahead” only) to receive our latest blog posts straight to your inbox.

Left Menu Icon
 

Subscribe to Our Blog Now

Gain insights on macro market events, the economy, and investing strategies. Choose your desired email alert (new post, weekly digest, or "A Step Ahead" only) to receive our latest blog posts straight to your inbox.

SIGN UP