Slides from a Guest Lecture for the University of Ulster's Business School.
2013 is the year of the snake, which seems appropriate from a UK perspective, as a low-level undulating crawl and a zig-zagging GDP profile look likely – with a triple-dip a strong possibility. At a Eurozone level, actions of central bankers have stabilised the debt crisis (OMT has avoided eurozone OMG!) and the threat of a eurozone break-up may have receded. But, the eerie financial market calm is at odds with incoming economic data. Meanwhile, elections in Italy & Germany will either help or hinder Eurozone fiscal integration. More widely, with all economies seeking to export their way out of trouble, ‘Currency Wars’ will be a key theme in 2013.
With regard to Northern Ireland, the UK is experiencing its weakest economic recovery in 100 years, which impacts upon performance and prospects locally. In 2013, the prospect of Northern Ireland escaping recession in its technical sense is probably 50:50. Any growth or further contraction is expected to be marginal. Talk of a recovery will be confined to economic anoraks and will refer to a ‘spreadsheet recovery’ rather than one that translates into a sustainable increase in consumer spending and wider consumer confidence.
Beyond this year, 2014 is the year of the horse. Those at the reins of the global economy will have a difficult task that year too, but assuming they aren’t flogging a dead horse, they should be able to get the economy off the ground and aim for a canter, if not a gallop. But there are plenty of fences to jump before we get there.This lecture will provide an overview of what's happening within financial markets and the various economies. Furthermore, an assessment will be made of the economic challenges that we face at a global, international, national and regional level.