Proprio ora, quando qualcuno comincia a spiegarci che il peggio è passato, Cassandra-Roubini ci ricorda come stanno le cose. Mancano solo i quattro cavalieri dell'Apocalisse e poi il quadro è completo:
- Global economic activity is expected to contract by 1.9% in 2009. Advanced economies are expected to contract 4% in 2009. Japan and the eurozone will suffer the sharpest downturns. U.S. GDP will continue to contract, albeit at a slower pace throughout 2009, with negative growth in every quarter.
- Emerging markets will slow down sharply from the stellar growth rates of the past few years, with the BRIC economies growing at half their 2008 pace.
- Deteriorated terms of trade, slower capital flows and tighter credit will push Latin America into recession from the 4.1% growth of 2008. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela will all shift to negative territory on a year-over-year basis while smaller countries, like Peru, will experience a significant slowdown.
- Countries in Eastern Europe and the CIS will experience some of the sharpest contractions given the withdrawal of foreign credit and the risk of a severe financial crisis. The reduction in oil revenues and financial stress will contribute to a 5% yoy contraction in Russia and some countries – especially in the Baltics – are at risk of double-digit contractions.
- Export-dependent Asia's growth will slow significantly to less than 3% in 2009. China will have a hard landing with GDP growth falling to 5.5% while India will slow sharply to 4.3%. All four Asian Tigers (Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong) as well as Malaysia and Thailand will experience recessions.
- The Middle East and Africa will mark much slower growth, half of their 2008 pace, given the reduction in capital inflows, reduced demand from the U.S. and EU and decline in commodity prices and output. Israel and South Africa will suffer slight contractions.
- The unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus may help alleviate the substantial contraction in private demand and reduce the risk of a global L-shaped near-depression. Debt financing may be a challenge for many countries though, especially emerging markets or the most vulnerable Western European economies.
- Job losses during the current global recession might exceed those in recent recession, contributing to increases in defaults and posing additional risks to banks. The unemployment rate in developed countries will reach double-digits by 2010 (as early as mid-2009 in the U.S.) and push more people in developing countries into poverty. Moreover, despite new funding from multilateral institutions, severe contractions will raise the risk of social and political unrest.
- Commodities as a class are likely to come under renewed pressure in 2009 despite some support from production cuts. RGE expects the WTI oil price to average about a barrel in 2009 as demand destruction continues to outweigh crude supply destruction.