It’s been five years since global growth was as strong and as balanced as it is right now, according to the Charles Schwab Midyear Market Outlook report.
The eurozone, which as a region represents the largest economy in the world, has been a drag on the pace of global economic activity in recent years. But, according to Jeffrey Kleintop, chief global investment strategist for Schwab, that seems to be changing, even despite Greece’s troubles.
On Thursday, Kleintop and other market experts from the Schwab Center for Financial Research who wrote the report discussed their outlook during a conference call with the news media.
“In contrast to the U.S. where everyone’s focused on the Fed withdrawing economic stimulus, the central banks of Europe and Japan are aggressively adding stimulus,” Kleintop said.
This should help to sustain the economic recovery and support the global stock market over the next year, he says.
“In fact, both Europe and Japan [are] probably going to avoid a recession in 2015. That doesn’t sound like a controversial statement, but it’s the first time since 2010 that’s happened,” Kleintop said during the call.
Last year, there was a recession in Japan driven by a tax increase. Prior to that, Europe suffered two years of recession in part from higher taxes and budget cuts, and that was preceded by a recession in Japan from the effects of the March 2011 tsunami.
While Japan’s economy is struggling to maintain economic momentum after emerging from recession in 2014, Kleintop notes that its economy should get a boost from the aggressive stimulus provided by the Bank of Japan that is weakening the yen, along with potential for the approval of a new trade agreement that includes the United States.
Meanwhile, in Europe, economic activity is seeing something of a renaissance. Kleintop says this is largely from the depreciation of the euro, the reduction in borrowing rates and a decline in energy prices. In fact, eurozone GDP growth has accelerated to 0.9% in the fourth quarter and to 1% in the first quarter of 2015, according to Eurostat.