Last Sunday I was honored to present FSG’s Global Economic Outlook at the Society of Automotive Analysts’ Outlook conference in Detroit, the unofficial kickoff of the prestigious North American international Auto Show. I lightheartedly titled my presentation “How to Stop Worrying and Love Volatility” because 2019 promised to feel even more unstable for business and investors than 2018.
We expect slower growth globally — from 3.3% GDP increase last year to 3.0% this year — especially in the major advanced economies. Large auto-producing economies like China and Mexico will experience economic pressure domestically and ongoing uncertainty about trade with the US. South Korea’s economy is suffering from its China-dependent value chain while peace with North Korea is back in the spotlight. More dangerous than slowing economic growth is the risk of over-interpreting the bad news in the international business press. Financial-market volatility will continue as pundits grapple with a business-cycle downturn on the horizon in the US and eventually Europe, but there remains plenty of opportunity for multinational companies.