Thursday, August 18, 2011

Morgan Stanley Cuts 2011 Global Growth Forecast

Morgan Stanley slashed its global growth forecast for 2011 and 2012, saying the U.S. and the euro zone were "dangerously close to a recession", and criticized policymakers in Washington and Europe for not acting more decisively to contain the sovereign debt crisis.

The bank cut its global gross domestic product growth forecast to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent for 2011, and to 3.8 percent from 4.5 percent for 2012.

"Our revised forecasts show the US and the euro area hovering dangerously close to a recession — defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction — over the next 6-12 months," Joachim Fels, who co-heads Morgan Stanley's global economics team, said in a research note dated Wednesday.

That was not the bank's base case scenario, he said, noting the corporate sector still looked healthy and lower inflation will ease pressure on consumers' pocketbooks, while central banks such as the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank could try to loosen policy further.

Still, "it won't take much in the form of additional shocks to tip the balance," he added.

"A negative feedback loop between weak growth and soggy asset markets now appears to be in the making in Europe and the US." (more)