Brookings-FT TIGER Index: A Fragile and Fleeting World Economy?

TIGER overall April 2016_FT Brookings

The latest Brookings-Financial Times TIGER (Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery)
Index reveals global economic recovery remains weak, uneven, and in danger of stalling yet again. The world economy continues to be beset by
mediocre growth, hesitant or impotent policy actions by national governments, and a dearth of confidence among households and businesses.

Analysis by Eswar Prasad and myself can be read at the Financial Times or at Brookings.

The April 2016 update to TIGER can be viewed interactively at Brookings.

Here are some highlights:

  • A common theme, from the best performing economies to the worst, is that growth of physical capital investment is sluggish, industrial production growth is negative or, at most, weak, and business confidence is falling.
  • In the U.S., growth in employment, retail sales and credit has remained strong. Consumer confidence has picked up, which bodes well for consumption. But weak business confidence and minimal increases in investment signal an uneven growth pattern.
  • The euro zone appears to be on slightly stronger footing than in 2015, but the sustainability of the recovery is in question as investment, retail sales, and consumer confidence remain weak.
  • Emerging markets have survived the Federal Reserve liftoff, uncertainties about China’s growth prospects and exchange rate policy, and low commodity prices without any major crises. But many of these economies remain vulnerable to shifts in external circumstances, investor sentiment and political instability.
  • China’s growth continues to slow steadily. Industrial production growth has fallen below 5.5 percent, its slowest pace since 2009, and exports are slumping, but growth in retail sales, household incomes, and employment have held up better.
  • India’s reported headline growth of over 7 percent, which makes it the fastest growing major economy, glosses over many problems beneath the surface. Investment growth has fallen sharply and industrial production is actually contracting.
  • Overall, the world economy is clawing its way back to at least a temporary sense of normalcy. Unless governments demonstrate the ability and willingness to undertake reforms and use policy measures to aggressively support growth, even the anticipated weak growth could be knocked off track.

 

About TIGER:

Eswar Prasad and myself update TIGER twice a year, around the times of the IMF-World Bank Meetings of finance ministers, central bank governors, economists and policymakers. TIGER is a set of indices that track the speed of economic activity across the world’s major emerging markets and advanced economies using macroeconomic, financial and confidence indicators.

The April 2016 update to TIGER can be viewed interactively at Brookings.

 

 

 

 

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