World's outlook for economic growth is mixed – US economist

30 January 2013 23:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The outlook for the economies in the world is mixed, with different regions growing at different rates, an economist said on Wednesday.

In the US, the outlook will be tempered by overseas weakness, and the stronger dollar will keep the economy in check, said Kevin Swift, chief economist and managing director of the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Swift was talking to the ICIS Pan American Phenol-Acetone Conference.

In the US, the fiscal cliff was postponed or avoided, however one wishes to look at it, and it has caused the nation's economy to become stuck in a slow-growth mode, he said.

Swift pointed to the improvement in the sale of passenger cars and light trucks in the US as a positive sign. The housing industry is another bright spot, as it appreas to be headed toward improvement.

Europe will continue to see its southern economies mired in a deep recession because of austerity programmes and high unemployment. That, in turn, will drag on the economies in northern Europe.

Overall, although the debt crisis in Europe may be easing, most economies there are in recession, Swift said.

The economic outlook in Asia points to a stalled economy in Japan, while the economy in China will be constrained by sluggish European demand and a policy-induced slowdown to deflate a housing bubble.

Nonetheless, growth is improving in China and other emerging nations are showing signs of recovery, he said.

By: Wesley Busch
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