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Emerging Markets' Currency Rout Sinks Import Growth

The largest decline in the growth of import volumes was most evident in Turkey where the lira's performance this year has been among the worst relative to its peers. The pace of imports growth has also decelerated in South Africa, Brazil, Russia and Korea. 


Fitch’s Coulton: Big Market Shock Coming

A big market shock is inevitable as the U.S. continues to hike rates and central banks around the world tighten their respective policies, according to Brian Coulton, Chief Economist at Fitch Ratings, speaking to Bloomberg radio’s Daybreak Europe show.

China and the Global Economy

Sovereigns, focus on trade protectionism and its potential impact on the global economy in a video roundtable hosted by Charles Seville, Co-head of America Sovereigns. Chaptered.


Fitch Ratings Says Rising Crude Oil Prices Drag on India's Economy

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, said, "We were positively surprised by the Q2 GDP numbers. In some ways, India is more resilient than a lot of the other countries, which are being caught up in this emerging market turmoil recently."

Japan's Remarkable Job Creation Defies Demographics

The number of people working in Japan has increased sharply since 2012, a remarkable achievement as the country's working-age population fell over the same period. The number of people working rose to a new high of more than 66.6 million in 2Q18, exceeding the previous record in 1997, while the working-age population decreased by more than 11 million since 1997.

global economic outlook

World Growth Forecast Cut on US-China Trade Battle

Protectionist US trade policies have now reached the point where they are materially affecting what remains a strong global growth outlook, with the US-China trade battle prompting us to downgrade our 2019 global GDP forecast.

Video Roundtable: United States and the Global Economy

Global Head of Sovereigns James McCormack, Chief Economist Brian Coulton, and Head of North America Sovereigns Charles Seville, discuss the US and the global economy as well as the sovereign rating relative to its ‘AAA’ peers.

Turkey Moves Insufficient to Restore Policy Credibility

Turkey's incomplete policy response to the lira's depreciation is unlikely on its own to sustainably stabilise the currency and the economy. This would require an increase in the credibility and independence of the central bank, tolerance of weaker growth, and a reduction in macroeconomic and financial imbalances.

End of ECB QE Could Push Up Global Bond Yields

Global bond yields could see upward pressure if net capital outflows from the eurozone start to subside when the ECB ends its quantitative easing (QE) in December 2018.

Credit Hotspot: Brexit

Latest: Brexit Uncertainty Makes Smooth Transition Less Likely

Labour Market and Wage Pressures Behind Rate Hike

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist: While the MPC’s improved confidence that Q1 GDP weakness was temporary helps explain the timing of the hike, they can hardly be accused of being upbeat on the UK growth outlook.

BOJ Commitment Undeterred

Maxime Darmet, Associate Director in Fitch’s Economics team says the BOJ meeting has not brought any major changes to monetary policy but will reinforce policy sustainability to its JGB purchases. Kaori Nishizawa, Director in Fitch’s Financial Institutions team adds that the overall impact on banks’ profits is likely to be rather small.

US Q2 GDP Growth at 4.1%

US Q2 GDP growth at 4.1% annualised was faster than we expected in our last GEO (3%).

bbc world service

US Economic Growth Fastest Since 2014

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist: The US economy grew at its fastest rate in nearly four years in the second quarter, expanding at an annualised rate of 4.1%. The gains were driven by strong consumer spending, business investment and a surge in exports as firms rushed to beat new trade tariffs.

Global Quantitative Tightening to Start Next Year

The combined net asset purchases of the four central banks that engaged in quantitative easing (QE) will turn negative in 2019, one year earlier than Fitch Ratings previously estimated. This underscores the shift in global monetary conditions that is underway - as strong global growth continues and labour markets tighten - and could portend an increase in financial market volatility.

Trade War Escalation Would Knock 0.4% off World Growth

An escalation of global trade tensions that results in new tariffs on USD2 trillion in global trade flows would reduce world growth by 0.4% in 2019 to 2.8%. The US, Canada, and Mexico would be the most affected countries.


Credit Hotspot: Trade Protectionism

Risks to Global Growth Rise as Trade Tensions Escalate

Bank of Japan Asset Purchases Continue to Slow Sharply

The pace of asset purchases by the Bank of Japan has continued to slow sharply in 2018 to an annual rate of around JPY45 trillion (USD410 billion) despite the official commitment to annual purchases of around JPY80 trillion. 

Oil Prices and Global Growth Prospects

Brian Coulton, Fitch’s Chief Economist, discusses oil prices, OPEC and prospects for global growth on Bloomberg Surveillance.

US Rates, Policy Divergence, Keep Pressure on Emerging Markets

Central bank meetings last week highlight the divergence of monetary policy. The Fed firmed its language on normalisation and is tightening policy through balance-sheet adjustments and rate rises, while the ECB remains more accommodative.

China Slowdown Would Pressure Some US States

If a slowdown in China's economy led to a decline in US exports, several states with substantial agriculture exports and one with aircraft exports would likely see localized declines in economic activity and, thus, tax revenues, says Fitch Ratings. However, we would expect states with a high volume of imports from China would not be affected.

China Growth 1pp per Year Slower in Deleveraging Scenario

China's GDP growth rate would be reduced by 1 percentage point per year over the medium term in a hypothetical scenario where corporate debt growth was steadily reduced to a rate in line with underlying nominal GDP growth. Related: Chinese Deleveraging Would Test Some Emerging Markets


Rising US Dollar Will Test EM Vulnerabilities Across Sectors

EM issuers are facing more challenging economic and financial conditions as interest rates rise and central bank monetary policy becomes less accommodative. Access more research on our Interest Rates Credit Hotspot.

Fitch on Credit and Interest Rates

Weakening Credit Impulse Helps Explain Euro Area Slowdown

Euro Area Inflation Rising Slowly but Surely

Euro area inflation is on course to return to 2% on a durable basis by 2020 as economic slack is diminished and unemployment falls, according to a detailed assessment of euro area wage and price dynamics published by Fitch Ratings' economics team. 

EM Monetary Policy Settings on Loose Side As Fed Tightens

Emerging market (EM) monetary policy settings appear to be on the loose side from the perspective of domestic economic conditions and could tighten by more than the consensus expects as global monetary conditions normalise, according to the latest research from Fitch's economics team. 

2018 Rate Hike Delayed Not Cancelled

The Bank of England has maintained the bank rate at 0.5%. Fitch Ratings' Chief Economist, Brian Coulton, gives his view on the decision. 

Related: UK Household Finances Pose Risk to Growth, Consumer Loans



chart of the month

Rising UK Household Leverage Contrasts Sharply with US

The UK household sector's debt-to-income ratio has increased significantly over the last two years and is now only eight percentage points (pp) below its pre-crisis peak of 133%. This contrasts with the US, where debt-to-income is 106% and most of the 30pp peak-to-trough decline in the ratio remains intact.

US-China Tariff Threats Raise Global Trade Risks

Escalating tariff proposals by the US and Chinese governments are increasing the risks of a full-blown trade war. The most likely outcome remains a negotiated solution to US-China trade tensions that has limited effect on the near-term growth outlook in both countries and leaves our base case global macroeconomic forecasts intact. However, the risk of a more material impact is growing. RelatedTrade Protectionism 

Frontier Vision

Frontier Market Exports Accelerating

In 4Q17, GDP growth picked up across several frontier markets, including Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Vietnam, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Costa Rica and Jamaica, while economic activity slowed in Jordan, Iraq, El Salvador, Honduras, Mongolia and Namibia.

global perspectives

The Financial Roots of the Eurozone Surplus

Recently released data show that in 2017, the total current-account surplus for the 19 countries of the eurozone reached a record high. But while many commentators are now predictably calling on Germany to reduce its savings and boost investment, that advice ignores the role of the European Central Bank. Originally published in Project Syndicate.

Wage Growth Key to Continued Success of Abenomics

Abenomics has supported the reflation of Japan's economy in the five years since it was launched, but is yet to have a significant impact on wage growth which has remained stagnant even as the labour market has tightened. A sustained improvement in nominal GDP growth could help ease the government's difficult fiscal consolidation challenge, but growth momentum is likely to falter in the absence of healthy wage gains.

Eurozone Capital Expenditure Outlook

The Eurozone Capital Expenditure (Capex) recovery had initially been a disappointment in the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, lagging consumption and wider GDP. But the capex outlook is now looking a lot brighter and has been a key factor behind Fitch’s recent upgrades to its Eurozone GDP forecasts.

2018 Credit Outlook Conference

Economic Consequences of Protectionism

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, Fitch Ratings discusses the economic consequences of protectionism and the impact on the global economic growth outlook.

2018 Credit Outlook Conference

What’s Next for Brexit?

Panellists at the 2018 Fitch Ratings Credit Outlook conference debate the possible outcomes of Brexit and the impact on Bank and Sovereign ratings.

Eurozone Capex Gaining Momentum as SMEs Recover

Economic conditions are ripe for eurozone capital expenditure to gain momentum in 2018 and beyond, with the level of capex now projected to be back to its pre-crisis peak by 1Q19.

China’s Growth Potential Will Fall to 5.5%, Well Below India’s in Next 5 Years

In the latest Fixed Interests podcast, senior members of Fitch’s Economics and Sovereign teams discuss potential growth rates of the largest emerging markets. Analysis highlights the importance of demographic factors and investment rates, placing India ahead of China over the next 5 years with projected GDP growth of 6.7% versus 5.5%. 

Swiss Inflation Ticking Up but SNB Will Stay Expansionary

The rise in Swiss inflation is unlikely to prompt a significant change in the Swiss National Bank's (SNB) monetary policy stance this year. The SNB is unlikely to hike policy rates before the ECB does, as the SNB seeks to avoid franc appreciation. This stance supports growth but could potentially increase risks in the domestic banking system. 

India Has Highest Medium-Term Growth Potential among Largest Emerging Markets

New estimates of supply-side potential GDP growth over the next five years highlight the importance of demographic factors and investment rates and place India at the top of the list among the ten largest emerging markets covered in our Global Economic Outlook (GEO) forecasts.


UK Growth Prospects for 2019 Extremely Uncertain

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist at Fitch Ratings, gives his view on UK economic trends to look out for as Brexit talks reach a new phase.


Fitch Ratings CEO Explains Why Businesses Need a Mobile Workforce

The global economy is on track to do well in 2018. Fitch Ratings predicts that the world will experience a 3.3% economic growth next year; but thereafter, things could turn gloomy. CEO Paul Taylor told Cheddar that a lack of employees will become a global economic problem.

Risks to Watch: Trade Protectionism

In our 2018 Risks to Watch series, Chief Economist Brian Coulton and North America Sovereigns Head Charles Seville discuss Brexit, NAFTA and the implications of trade protectionism on the global economy.

The United States and the Global Economy

Global Head of Sovereigns James McCormack, Chief Economist Brian Coulton, and Head of North America Sovereigns Charles Seville, discuss the United States and the global economy, as well as the sovereign rating relative to its ‘AAA’ peers.

Fears of 'Mission Creep' Will Spur Central Banks to Unwind QE

Fears of 'mission creep' will incentivise the major central banks to unwind Quantitative Easing (QE) over the next few years even if inflation remains low. In our latest report conclusions are offered on the likely QE exit strategies of the Fed, European Central Bank, Bank of England and Bank of Japan.

UK Rate Rise Has Little Growth Impact, Shows Global Shift

The Bank of England's (BoE) decision to increase UK interest rates by 25 bp partly unwinds the monetary stimulus it provided last summer, and is unlikely to have a large economic impact. The BoE looks set to tighten policy slowly, but the first UK rate hike in over decade highlights how shrinking output gaps and tighter labour markets are pushing central banks towards interest rate normalisation. 

2017 IMF Conference: Sovereign Ratings & the Global Economy - Trends in Interest Rates, Savings & Investments

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, explains his take on the R-star (neutral interest rate) and its relationship to savings and investments.

2017 IIF Annual Membership Meeting

Fitch Ratings' Chief Economist Brian Coulton joined the panel discussion, at the 2017 IIF Annual Membership Meeting, on the outlook for China and what to expect after the 19th party congress.


Keep an Eye on US China Trade Relations

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, spoke with Bloomberg Radio's Bryan Curtis and Juliette Saly on the outlook for global growth. 

Significant Shift in Global Interest Rate Environment Ahead

Borrowers should prepare for a significant shift in the global interest rate environment in the next few years. We expect US real interest rates to increase to levels that are more closely aligned with US economic growth potential.


Brian Coulton


Brian Coulton

Chief Economist

+44 203 530 1140

Robert Ojeda-Sierra


Robert Ojeda-Sierra

+44 203 530 6094

Maxime Darmet


Maxime Darmet

+44 203 530 1624