Double-dip global recession unlikely; risks exist: Summer Davos

18:31, September 15, 2010      

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Will the global economy be hit by a double-dip recession? This is a question currently in the minds of many world policy makers, economists, business executives as well as the general public.

The slower growth in several major economies in the wake of a recovery from recession and the European sovereign debt crisis has fanned fears of a double-dip recession.

Economists and business executives at the World Economic Forum's annual Summer Davos meeting in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin have the answer: unlikely, but risks exist.

At a panel discussion Wednesday, U.S-based IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh said the global economy is recovering, although slowly, but he sees little possibility of a double-dip.

Credit conditions are gradually easing with tightening unlikely, consumers are spending and business are investing and hiring people, he stated.

The viewpoint was shared by Zhu Min, a special advisor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Antony Leung Kam-chung, chairman of Blackstone's greater China operations.

"Although the sovereign debt crisis still exists, the risk of a double-dip recession has been reduced," said Zhu, also a former Chinese central bank deputy governor. But he acknowledged the global economy still faces many uncertainties.

There won't be a double-dip as the U.S. and European economies are slowly recovering while Asia sees quicker growth, Leung said. "A slower growth won't have too much pressure on inflation."

But according to Paul Sheard, global chief economist of Nomura Securities International, the global financial crisis will surely cast a long shadow, but he sees many encouraging signs in the emerging markets, particularly China.

This was echoed by Gerard Lyons, chief economist of Standard Chartered Bank. He said the global economy will be driven more by the emerging economies and Asia is expected to contribute more to the global economy than the G7 members in 2014.

Despite the optimism, participants also highlighted potential risks to the global economic recovery: imbalance, trade protectionism and debt crisis.

Yoshihiko Miyanchi, chairman and chief executive officer of Orix Corp. in Japan, said the world will rely more on the emerging economies in Asia and Africa for future growth.

But for China, it should rely more on consumption rather than on investment and exports to avoid volatility to reduce the impact on global growth, Miyanchi said.

William Rhodes, a retired senior vice chairman of Citigroup, said trade protectionism is "poison" to global economy. The top priority is to complete the Doha round of talks and reach a multilateral trade agreement, he said.

Rhodes also called on the G20 members to give top priority to boosting economic growth and enhancing coordination between nations, so as to avoid protectionism.

Zhu Min called to step up global governance over financial regulation to reduce financial risks at the coming G20 summit in Seoul in November.

Source: Xinhua


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