On February 6, Bloomberg Government and Bloomberg Professional Services hosted an event looking ahead at the global economy in 2013. The panel conversation was moderated by Mike McKee of Bloomberg News and included experts in international economics, trade and finance:

  • Heidi Crebo-Rediker, Chief Economist, United States Department of State
  • David F. Gordon, Head of Research and Director Global Macro Analyst, The Eurasia Group
  • Gary Hufbauer, Reginald Jone Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Sanford Reback, Director of Global Business Analysis, Bloomberg Government
  • Joseph Brusuelas, Senior Economist, Bloomberg LP

The conversation ranged across a variety of issues, with significant focus on the United States fiscal debt and its impact on both the domestic and wider global economies.  Until Congress and the White House remove the uncertainties stemming from the on-going budget and debt issues, business will refrain from the large investments and hiring decisions needed to spur robust, long-term economic growth Most panelists agreed that the prospects for U.S. economic growth were fairly good but the projections on the growth rate varied as a result of the uncertainties, although all felt confident that a deal would eventually be reached.

The situation for Europe looks different with short-term stagnation as the euro zone continues to work through its own debt issues. Bloomberg’s Joseph Brusuelas commented that it is very clear that the austerity measures in Europe are not working, but until the German elections in September, we are “stuck with them.”

China also emerged as a major discussion point. David Gordon noted that China’s new leadership will have a rough start and will certainly face increasing nationalist sentiment. A free trade agreement between the United States and Europe would help to increase competitiveness vis a vis China and could help to jump start both economies.

When asked about a currency war among the larger economies, Gary Hufbauer of The Peterson Institute for International Economics described this as a fiction created by the media. He went on to explain that the conditions underlying the world’s currencies are nothing like the conditions that led to the currency wars of the 1930s.

Bloomberg would like to thank our panelists and guests for this very interesting and engaging conversation. 

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