The Bull

Sunday 23

November, 201410:58 PM

Industry Chart

TheBull PREMIUM

  • Trends
  • &
  • Opportunities

2 Reasons Why The Global Economy Will Slow

2 Reasons Why The Global Economy Will Slow

By Expert Panel 19.03.2012


The coming years will be marked by a seismic change in the economic landscape in the US. Firstly and most importantly, we are going to see economic growth slow down dramatically. Jeremy Grantham, an asset manager I respect, believes we’ll see global growth at 2% over the next seven years. Personally, I believe it could be even lower than that.

The reasons for this slowdown are myriad, but the most important are:

1) Age demographics: a growing percentage of the population will be retiring, while fewer younger people are entering the workforce.

2) Excessive debt overhang.

Regarding reason #1, Europe is the most glaring situation. According to Eurostat, between 2004 and 2050, the number of people of non-working age relative to those of working age will increase dramatically. In the EU, in 2004, there were approximately four people of working age (19-64) for every person of non-working age (65 and older). By 2050, this number will have dropped to only two people of working age for every person of non-working age.

Over the same time period, Europe will also see a tripling in people considered to be “elderly” (80 or older) from 18 million to 50 million.

These numbers alone go a long way towards explaining why Europe is facing a budgetary crisis of epic proportions. All of these retirees will be expecting various government/ private sector outlays whether they are pensions, healthcare, or various other social services.

These issues are, for the most part, left out of most current analysis of Europe’s debt crisis. Indeed, while the vast majority of commentators are well aware of Europe’s official Debt to GDP ratios, when we include unfunded liabilities such as the government outlays or social programs I detailed above, it is clear that the situation in Europe is far, far worse than is commonly known.

Jagadeesh Gokhale of the Cato Institute presents the situation with an interesting data point, “The average EU country would need to have more than four times (434 percent) its current annual gross domestic product (GDP) in the bank today, earning interest at the government’s borrowing rate, in order to fund current policies indefinitely.”

The situation is not quite as profound in the US, though we will be seeing a dramatic increase in the age dependency ratio (the number of people of retired age relative to those of working age) between 2010 and 2030 as the Baby Boomers retire: in 2010, there were 22 people aged 65 and older for every 100 people of working age. By 2030, this number will have grown to 37 people aged 65 and older for every 100 people of working age.

However, while the ratios are not as poor in the US as in Europe, the unfunded liabilities the US faces are truly astronomical. USAToday puts the number at $61.6 trillion in unfunded obligations, an amount equal to roughly $528,000 per US household.

However, Japan makes both the EU and the US look tame. In 2009, Japan already had 35 people aged 65 or older for every 100 people of working age. However, by 2050, this number will have swelled to an incredible 73 people aged 65 or older out of every 100 people of working age. This among other things sets Japan as a ticking time bomb, which we will assess in another report.

The EU, Japan, and the US comprise $36 trillion of the global $64 trillion economy (roughly 57%). So this debt overhang will have a profound impact on global growth particularly in the developed world going forward.

This debt overhang will result in several developments from a political perspective. For one thing, the social contract between governments and retirees will have to be re-negotiated, as the money promised by the former to the latter simply isn’t there.

Governments will try to deal with this in one of two ways: by raising taxes on high- income earners/ any other potential avenue for raising revenues and by reneging on the promises made to retirees.

The impact these moves will have on the political landscape will be profound. Among other things, we will be seeing more protests both at the ballot box and in the streets (Greece’s riots are a taste of what’s to come for much of Europe and eventually the US).

To picture how a cutback in social programs will impact the US populace, consider that in 2011, 48% of Americans lived in a household in which at least one member received some kind of Government benefit. Over 45 million Americans currently receive food stamps. And 43% of Americans aged 65-74 are Medicare beneficiaries.

Consider the impact that even a 10% reduction in these various programs would have on the US populace.

With that in mind, people will have to make do with less. This will have a profound social impact, as it will force many more traditional values to come to the forefront of American culture again. Among other things I believe individualism will give way to more community-focused lifestyles: whether they be food co-ops, neighborhood watches, or simply having to live with relatives, the nuclear family and local community will become increasingly important as an emotional and economic support. Savings will increase and entertainment expenditures will become more frugal (Netflix vs. going to the movies, camping vs. more expensive vacations, etc.)

More importantly, the political process will change dramatically in the developed world, as politicians will no longer be able to promise social benefits and other handouts in order to incur votes.

From an economic growth standpoint, these age demographics and their accompanying debt overhangs will act as a drag in the developed world. Regrettably, this will likely lead to increase geopolitical tensions (much as we saw in the Arab spring) as times of economic contraction usually result in increased conflict both in terms of trade (the US and China) and actual warfare (the Middle East).

However, the fact remains that we will witness a "Global Debt Implosion". It has already begun in Europe and will be coming to Japan and eventually the US.

Graham Summers, Chief Market Strategist for Phoenix Capital Research

 

>> Next article - click here to read other articles 



FROM THE NEWSLETTER

Rise of corporate divorces leads to fleeting gains

For the global mergers and acquisitions market,... More

How do you give financial help to your adult children?

Most, who can, want to give financial help to... More

Eight Pitfalls in Evaluating Green Energy Solutions

Oil that was cheap to extract (say $20 barrel)... More

Stocks on a roll: ASX rolling 52-week highs

ASX rolling 52-week highs for the previous... More



WHAT’S ON THIS WEEK

week 28 November 2014
    • 24
    • BHP BHP Billiton briefing on its coal and copper businesses | 8:49 AM
    • Deloitte/Financial Services Council lunch David Murray, chair of the Financial System Inquiry, speaking at a Deloitte/Financial Services Council lunch | 8:50 AM
    • 25
    • AllianceBernstein economist Guy Bruten Briefing on Australian economy in 2015 by AllianceBernstein economist Guy Bruten | 4:23 AM
    • AOFM Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) to issue $200 million of February 21, 2022 Treasury Indexed Bonds | 4:25 AM
    • Australian British Chamber of Commerce lunch Helen Conway, director of Workplace Gender Equality Agency, speaking at Australian British Chamber of Commerce lunch | 5:42 AM
    • CEDA CEDA workplace flexibility event featuring PwC managing partner Gavin Moss | 6:46 AM
    • RBA Speech by Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Philip Lowe to the annual Australian Business Economists conference dinner | 8:48 AM
    • HVN Harvey Norman annual general meeting | 8:48 AM
    • MPL Medibank Private shares to begin trading on ASX | 8:48 AM
    • ALL Aristocrat Leisure full year results | 8:49 AM
    • ANZ ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly consumer confidence survey | 8:49 AM
    • BKN Brickworks annual general meeting | 8:50 AM
    • MSB Mesoblast annual general meeting | 8:51 AM
    • RFG Retail Food Group annual general meeting | 8:51 AM
    • 26
    • AOFM AOFM to issue $700 million of April 21, 2024 Treasury Bonds | 2:19 AM
    • ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics construction work done for September quarter | 4:25 AM
    • HIA Housing Industry Association/Commonwealth Bank affordability report for the September quarter | 4:27 AM
    • CAB Cabcharge annual general meeting | 5:22 AM
    • WEB Webjet annual general meeting | 5:22 AM
    • SUN Suncorp chief executive Patrick Snowball speaking at Australian British Chamber of Commerce lunch | 5:22 AM
    • AVG Australian Vintage annual general meeting | 6:08 AM
    • REX Regional Express annual general meeting | 6:09 AM
    • 27
    • AOFM AOFM to issue $500 million of Treasury Notes maturing on Febrary 27,2015 | 4:05 AM
    • ABS ABS private new capital expenditure and expected expenditure for the September quarter | 4:24 AM
    • HIA HIA new home sales for October | 4:27 AM
    • WOW Woolworths annual general meeting | 4:28 AM
    • CBA Commonwealth Bank business sales indicator for October | 4:28 AM
    • BOQ Bank of Queensland annual general meeting | 5:20 AM
    • SEK SEEK annual general meeting | 5:21 AM
    • MYX Mayne Pharma Group annual general meeting | 5:23 AM
    • BPT Beach Energy annual general meeting | 5:23 AM
    • FeTech magnetite and iron ore conference FeTech magnetite and iron ore conference | 5:41 AM
    • 28
    • RBA RBA to release financial aggregates for October | 4:26 AM
    • LYC Lynas Corp annual general meeting | 4:27 AM
    • MEL Metgasco annual general meeting | 4:28 AM
    • PRY Primary Health Care annual general meeting | 4:28 AM
    • RRL Regis Resources annual general meeting | 4:29 AM
    • AHF Australian Dairy Farms annual general meeting | 6:07 AM
    • AOFM AOFM to issue $500 million of October 21, 2019 Treasury Bonds | 6:09 AM
    • FeTech magnetite and iron ore conference FeTech magnetite and iron ore conference | 6:09 AM

TheBull.com.au

TheBull.com.au

TheBull PREMIUM article search

STOCK QUOTE

Don't know the company code? Click here



Featured Comment

Low wages growth, rising unemployment and shaky consumer confidence suggest property-price growth, already slowing, will decline in 2015. Lower house prices would weigh on dwelling investment and consumption.

Cheap property stock to watch

Broker buys

  • ASX Code
  • Company
  • Broker
  • TPMTPG TelecomCalibre
  • VEDVeda GroupCalibre
  • LLCLend LeaseAlpha Securities
  • MQGMacquarieAlpha Securities
  • OSHOil SearchPhillipCapital
  • CWNCrown ResortsPhillipCapital

Broker sells

  • ASX Code
  • Company
  • Broker
  • MINMineral ResourcesCalibre
  • AGOAtlas IronCalibre
  • MYRMyerAlpha Securities
  • CCLCoca-Cola AmatilAlpha Securities
  • QANQantasPhillipCapital
  • MINMineral ResourcesPhillipCapital

Central Banks Rates

  • RBA2.50%
  • FED0.25%
  • BOE0.50%
  • BOC1.00%
  • RBNZ3.25%
  • ECB0.15%
  • SNB0.00%
  • BOJ0.10%

Upcoming dividends

  • ASX Code
  • Company, Div., Franking
  • Ex-Div.

Eight brokers like these stocks

  • ASX Code
  • Company Name
  • Consensus Target
  • DOWDowner EDI Limited$5.78
  • FMGFortescue Metals Grp Ltd$6.89
  • ORAOrora Limited$1.51
  • RIORio Tinto Limited$81.22
  • CSLCSL Limited$73.30

Upcoming Floats

  • ASX Code
  • Company Name
  • Float Date

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS, AUSTRALIA'S LEADING BROKERS:



© Copyright The Compare Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.