economy will persist well into the future.
Advanced countries will experience slow
to moderate growth, high fiscal deficits,
lower inflation than emerging nations
and currency depreciation while emerging markets will see rapid growth, moderate to high inflation, rising interest
rates and currency appreciation.
More specifically, Johnson said:
Asia will see the fastest growth rate at
an average of 7% over the next few
years. China will see a deceleration of
exports, but a growth in industrial pro-
duction, giving the country a soft land-
ing. Indonesia will see “very strong per-
formance” with strong growth prospects.
Japan is bouncing back rapidly, held
back by the shortage of electric power
because it’s operating at about 20% less
nuclear capacity than a year ago and by
the need for financing for reconstruction.
India is supported by a rising middle
class and the easy availability of credit.
However, interest rates are rising, slow-
ing investment growth.
In South America, Johnson said there
are two sets of countries: those that are
able to attract foreign investment such as
Brazil, Chile, Peru and Columbia and
those that suffer from resource nationalism such as Venezuela, Bolivia and
Ecuador. Brazil faces a particularly challenging inflation picture, and the environment changes day to day. But fiscal policy in that country is tightening and the
administration is focusing on social programs and infrastructure challenges.
In the Eurozone, confidence is fragile
right now, not just from consumers, but
also in the industrial and services sectors.
Western Europe in general faces persistent unemployment, meager wage gains
and higher inflation, which will restrain
consumer and housing markets. Germany
and Sweden will be the pacesetters with
growth led by exports. In emerging
Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States is currently benefiting from
high oil and metal prices, Johnson said.
However, the region is unlikely to recapture the 5% to 7% growth rates experienced before the recession.
FORECAST: Asia will lead global
growth, while Latin America and
Africa will improve upon historical
performances. Emerging markets will
run about 6% to 7% growth while
developed markets will run at about
2% to 3% growth in GDP in the next
IT’S A BLUE AND GRAY
The water/wastewater market is no
longer a black and white market—it
might better be described as blue and
gray, Thomas Decker, PE, BCEE, vice
president and mid-Atlantic area manager for Brown and Caldwell, Alexandria,
VA, told attendees. Decker chose those
colors not because of their similarity to
water/wastewater, but because his presentation carried a Civil War theme in
commemoration of the 150th anniversary of that conflict.