The following round-up captures the views of S&P Global's rating analysts, economists and other key leaders who are sharing their views on the state of the world economy as we near the end of 2017. We've divided it into three parts: the economic outlook (pretty good), China & emerging markets (doing well, but with risks that are possibly being overlooked), and U.S. energy policy (a radical transformation under the first year of the Trump administration.)
It's very difficult to get a room full of economists to actually be fairly happy about things. It's the basis for the famous remark attributed to President Harry Truman that he wanted to meet a one-armed economist, who didn't qualify every statement with "but on the other hand..." Of course, you heard a lot of that at the 2017 IIF meeting, but a general optimism was mostly prevalent. It was mentioned more than once that all of the major economies in the world--and many among the emerging economies--were all growing, which is a rarity. Still, quantitative easing is ending in the U.S., it is in its likely final throes in other areas, and the impact of such a big change was in the background of many discussions.
Of all the areas where federal U.S. policy makes a difference, there might not be a bigger shift in moving from the Obama administration to one headed by Donald Trump than in energy. Whether it's the end of the Clean Power plan, the granting of federal permission for the Keystone XL pipeline or the elimination of many rules affecting production, there has been a 180-degree shift, as one of S&P Global's experts describes it in this video. But that doesn't mean there aren't activities ongoing that will impact the production and delivery of energy in the U.S. Rather, carbon mitigation efforts are being undertaken at the state level that could have a significant impact.
China and Emerging Markets
When a group of international economists gets together, China will always be one of the key topics of discussion. At more recent IIF annual meetings, there had been significant trepidation about the state of the Chinese economy. For example, at both the 2015 and 2016 IIF meetings, the turbulence of the Chinese equity markets and what that said for the state of the country as a whole, was very much front and center. What was remarkable about this year's meeting is that there appeared to be a fair amount of calm surrounding that country. But it's not all smooth; as several of our analysts, economists and other experts note in this video, there is still plenty of reason for concern. In other emerging markets, the news is mostly positive.