Davos WEF

A 'growth rotation' from the US to the rest of the world is underway, Standard Chartered CEO says

Key Points
  • Winters told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that there are "green shoots" for the European economy, and signs of China's slowdown stabilizing in the fourth quarter of 2019.
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Pretty optimistic about the state of the world, Standard Chartered CEO says

The global economy is seeing a "growth rotation" away from the U.S. and toward Europe and the rest of the world, according to Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters.

The euro zone economy stuttered in 2019, forcing the European Central Bank (ECB) to cut interest rates to an all-time low of -0.5% and launch a massive new bond-buying program.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week revised down its euro area growth projections from 1.4% to 1.3% in 2020, but this still represents an improvement from the 1.2% seen in 2019.

However, Winters told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that there are "green shoots" for the European economy, and suggested that there are also signs of China's slowdown stabilizing in the fourth quarter of 2019 and beginning to improve.

The IMF upgraded its outlook for Chinese growth by 0.2 percentage points to 6.0%, in part reflecting the easing of trade tensions following a "phase one" deal with the U.S., and Winters contended that China is "still the growth driver of the world."

"Global economic growth is below its potential, I think we can all recognize that, and the very low interest rates, negative interest rates in Europe, the slowing growth in China, are all indicators that global growth compressed, largely as a result of the uncertainty in the world over the past couple of years, but probably also because we're late in the economic cycle," Winters said.

"But there's a lot of signs that things are turning back around, and we're seeing global growth that could actually begin to pick back up in 2020, probably a little bit slower in the U.S., a little bit stronger in the rest of the world," he added.

With growth stabilizing in conjunction with an anticipated pickup in global trade, Winters concluded that he was feeling "pretty good about the state of the world."

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