German investor confidence fell in July on worries over the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Released today the ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany, which looks six months ahead ( in other words into early 2017), fell to -6.8 from 19.2 in June. That’s the lowest level since November 2012.
On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund, looking only at 2016, doesn’t see much danger from Brexit–in that time frame–outside of the United Kingdom itself.
The IMF cut its April projection for global growth in 2016 to 3.1% from 3.2%. It also cut its forecast for 2017 growth to 3.4% from April’s 3.5%. Growth in the United Kingdom is projected at 1.7% in 2016, down from a forecast of 1.9% growth back in April. U.K. economic growth is then projected to decline to 1.3% in 2017. That’s down from a forecast of 2.2% growth for the U.K. economy in the IMF’s April report.
The IMF forecasts are based on some very positive assumptions–that officials from the European Union and and the United Kingdom will be able to negotiate new trade agreements that don’t impose big new barriers to trade. If the talks break down, however, the United Kingdom will slip into recession, the IMF said, as banks leave London and consumer spending falls. That scenario would see global economic growth fall to 2.8% in 2017.
The fund left its projections for U.S. economic growth unchanged at 2.2% in 2016 and raised its forecast for growth in China in 2016 to 6.6% from the earlier forecast of 6.5%.
The Japanese economy will grow by just 0.3% in 2016, down from a forecast of 0.5% growth in April.
The IMF sees recessions in 2016 for Brazil, Russia, and Nigeria.
The pound is down 1.3% today as of 3:40 p.m. New York time. The U.S. dollar is up and crude is down with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate falling 1.41% to $44.60.
Remarkably given all the worrying events in the world in the last week, the CBOE volatility index, the VIX, which measures how much traders are willing to pay to hedge risk in the Standard & Poor’s 500 faded at 12.44, the same as at yesterday’s close. That’s down from 25.76 on June 24, right after the Brexit vote and is closing in on the 2015 low of 11.95 in July 2015. From that low the VIX soared to 40.74 by August 24. The 52-week range on the VIX is 10.88 to 53.29.