- February 1, 2015: Vol. 9, Number 2

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More of the same: 2015 should be just like 2014, but different

by Sheila Hopkins

At last autumn’s EPRA conference, economist Dr Ian Shepherdson, founder and chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, stated that the US economy was primed for robust growth in 2015. Not only would GDP be on a strong upswing, he said, but unemployment would barrel down, falling to 5 percent or lower by 2016 — and maybe even by the end of 2015. Some in the crowd shook their heads in disbelief, but it looks like he was spot on. Assuming that his other predictions will be just as accurate, life doesn’t look quite as upbeat for continental Europe. You will find it hard to find anyone who disagrees with his rather dismal European assessment. I know. I tried.

The most optimistic prediction I could find for euro zone growth in 2015 came from BlackRock, which opined in its 2015 Investment Outlook that “euro zone growth could surprise on the upside due to rock-bottom expectations.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

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