Quarterly economic outlook – Q2 2018

Weakening economic momentum does not spell the end of the global recovery, only a slowing in the pace of recovery.

Apr 24, 2018 | John Greenwood

After a period of weakness in 2015-16, exacerbated by the decline in oil prices and by a downturn of investment in that sector together with over-capacity in Chinese basic industries, global manufacturing production picked up strongly in 2017 and into early 2018.

Overall GDP growth has been less volatile, though with good performances in the US in Q2 and Q3 2017, and a steadily improving performance in continental Europe throughout 2017. In China, however, economic momentum has been weakening, led by a mild slowdown in the raw materials processing industries and in the housing sector.

Looking forward from this period of strong growth, there are now starting to be signs that momentum is weakening in the US, in Europe and in China. As yet this does not spell the end of the recovery, only a slowing in the pace of recovery.