According to a leading global economist who recently visited Jersey, the global economic outlook remains positive, although global economic growth in 2011 will be a little slower than in 2010 due to many policymakers increasingly stepping on the brakes. Han de Jong, a well-respected global economist, addressed a select audience assembled by ABN AMRO Bank Jersey.
A room of 70 people listened to his thoughts on how events in the macro economy impacted upon the recommendations made by his Jersey based colleagues to their clients. He argued that the global economic recovery has sufficient momentum to continue into 2011, but he also noted that there are many issues that continue to worry a lot of people.
Zooming in on some of these worries, Han said, “It’s not all doom and gloom. Of course the uncertainties are significant, but in many areas the world is moving in the right direction. For example, the eurozone countries under pressure are adjusting, budget deficits are declining significantly, competitiveness is improving and so are trade balances. This is all very positive, but it seems to escape media attention completely. In addition, the German government is more likely to support the euro system than to risk the unravelling of the euro and risk chaos and disintegration”.
He also argued that it is more likely than not that the eurozone will find a sustainable solution to its debt problems without reverting to large-scale debt restructuring or countries leaving the euro. In addition, it was argued that inflation poses a challenge, but a manageable one to policymakers this year. Overall, this creates a background against which risky assets should perform well this year. Companies are benefitting from the economic recovery. As unemployment is still high in many countries, profits can continue to grow, creating a favourable outlook for equities in 2011, while bond yields are generally likely to rise.
Patrick Crowley, the Country Executive of ABN AMRO, Jersey says, “This mirrors what we are witnessing in Jersey. We are looking at structuring bespoke portfolios to preserve wealth but capitalise on opportunities which exist in the market. Han’s message of cautious optimism, backed up by extensive research and some unique insights is a welcome one in prevailing uncertain times. When you add to this the ability of Han to present in a clear and down to earth manner, spiced with some healthy doses of humour, it is not surprising that Han has begun to develop a strong following amongst Jersey finance industry professionals and this was evidenced by the large attendance at his presentation”.
Han de Jong is a revered global economist, employed by ABN AMRO Bank N.V. Prior to taking up this position in 2005, he headed the Investment Strategy team. Before that, Han held various positions, such as leading a fixed-income research unit and working as a college lecturer. Han is currently also a columnist for the leading Dutch financial newspaper, Financieele Dagblad, writing about economic and financial affairs, and is a member of the investment committee of several Dutch pension funds.
About ABN AMRO
ABN AMRO Private Bank is the longest-serving established Continental European Bank in the Channel Islands, having served the needs of many local and international clients for over 35 years. The Bank’s extensive history dates back to 1765 where it originated in Holland. ABN AMRO Private Bank Jersey works with residents and non-residents, high net-worth individuals, family businesses, NGOs, and financial intermediaries to deliver a suite of products and services to include; Investment Services, Corporate Treasury Services and Credit Facilities.
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