The Monaco Economic Board (MEB) recently hosted a well-attended talk by the multi award-winning economic forecaster Christophe Barraud at the Novotel Monte-Carlo.

A specialist in China, the United States and the eurozone, he detailed his analyses on a global scale for Monegasque entrepreneurs.

Regularly named the best forecaster in the world by Bloomberg on his three favourite subjects (China, United States and eurozone), the Chief Economist and Strategist at Market Securities and Managing Director of the new Monegasque branch, Market Securities Monaco, delivered a clear presentation while being quite technical, to the hundred or so entrepreneurs present.

Christophe Barraud was rather reassuring from the outset: “Global growth is rather resilient, forecasts have been constantly revised upwards since October 2023.” He envisages growth identical to 2023: +3.2%, or 0.3 points more than the consensus, figures which, barring a major event, could further increase in 2025.

The forecaster explained this favourable trend in particular by significant tax incentive policies, particularly in the world’s two leading economies, but also by consumption which is restarting in Europe.

In China, government measures are starting to have their effects (increase in public investments of 7.4 percent compared to 2023). There remains the black spot which is still penalising Chinese growth: residential real estate which weighs on consumer morale which remains very poor. The government has also taken numerous measures to encourage foreign investment which has been in decline. Expected growth should ultimately be down compared to 2023 while being close to the government’s objectives of +5%.

In the United States, the trend is towards a clear drop in consumption – in particular due to the fact that all the household savings put aside during covid have been spent and that interest rates are currently very high. However, immigration and the rise in real incomes should make it possible to limit the impact of this decline, as should the continuation of policies to support activity such as the notorious “Inflation Reduction Act”.

Economic activity in the eurozone should regain its colour from the first half of 2024 despite the fact that the manufacturing and real estate sectors will probably remain a drag. A rebound in credit to the private sector, combined with excess savings and an increase in real wages, should support GDP growth. Additionally, the Olympic Games are expected to be a plus in the third quarter of 2024.

Christophe Barraud then clarified his forecasts on central bank policies for the many specialists present in the room, anticipating in particular a decline in Q3 on the FED side but not beyond due in particular to the elections. The ECB, for its part, could lower its key rates by another 0.5 point by the end of the year. After a detailed question-and-answer sequence, the speaker was able to meet his audience again during a networking cocktail.

Christophe Barraud joined Market Securities in 2011 and holds the position of Chief Economist and Strategist in Paris. Since November 2023, he has also been Managing Director and Commercial Director of Market Securities Monaco S.A.M. He has been ranked by Bloomberg as the best forecaster or 2nd best forecaster continuously on US statistics since 2012, on the eurozone since 2015 and on Chinese statistics since 2017. MarketWatch also awarded him the title of best forecaster on US statistics in 2020.

His research is aimed at informing a wide category of institutional investors all over the world (banks, insurance companies, management companies, hedge funds, pension funds, etc.), but also public organisations (States, central banks, etc.)

PHOTO: MEB / Sébastien Darrasse