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‘Dull and Old’ Economies to See Strongest Growth Since 2010, Says IHS Chief Economist

‘Dull and old’ economies will have their strongest performing year since 2010 and will drive the global recovery in 2014, according to Chief Economist Dr. Nariman Behravesh of IHS, Inc. (NYSE: IHS), the leading global source of information and analytics.

Ahead of the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dr. Behravesh commented: “According to IHS estimates, in 2014, emerging markets will contribute the least amount to global growth since 2010. Economies considered ‘dull and old,’ like the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan, will actually be 2014’s new locomotives of growth.”

“The keys to understanding the growth slump in the advanced economies, and the nascent rebound, are the twin headwinds of private-sector deleveraging and public-sector austerity,” said Dr. Behravesh. “Fortunately, these twin headwinds are now easing.”

“Substantial progress has been made in reducing both public- and private-sector debt, especially in the United States. American households and banks have aggressively reduced debt levels, while the U.S. public-sector debt has been stabilized. Europe, as well, has made progress on fiscal austerity,” he said.

However, Dr. Behravesh cautioned that Europe’s story was not all good news, noting that in Europe, private-sector leverage, especially in the banking sector, remains at troublingly high levels.

“We are seeing rising labor costs in the emerging world, stagnant wages in the developed world and low energy costs in North America. As a result, we will likely see a re-balancing of global investment flows back into ‘dull and old’ economies,” he added.

Turn out the lights, the BRICS party is over

“There has been an alarming deceleration in the emerging world in the past four years. This has little to do with the ‘taper panic’ that gripped financial markets in the spring and summer of 2013. In actuality, the most daunting challenges facing emerging markets are structural,” said Dr. Behravesh.

“The 'BRICS party' of the 2000s was fueled by three global drivers: a credit boom, a commodities 'super-cycle' propelled in large part by China’s double-digit growth rates, and 'hyper-globalization' as multinational corporations expanded global supply chains. All three of these drivers have lost their steam, leaving many emerging markets high and dry,” he said.

“Without major microeconomic reforms that would open up labor and product markets, reduce fiscal burdens, and lower unit labor costs via productivity gains, a return to the ‘BRICS party’ of the 2000s is unlikely,” Behravesh concluded.

About IHS (www.ihs.com)

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information, insight and analytics in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs 8,000 people in 31 countries around the world.

IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright © 2014 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.

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