Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its growth estimate for the global economy to 3.3% and 3.6% for 2012 and 2013 respectively, warning that any revisions to the outlook would likely be lower. Domestically the U.S. economy grew at a tepid 1.3% in the third quarter, revised lower from the initial estimate of 1.7%.
Grim Outlook for 2013 & 2014
Rogers regards a U.S. recession in the coming year as all but inevitable. "Every four to six years since the beginning of the Republic we have had slowdowns in America," he says in the attached video. "It's always happened and it's going to happen again."
For those of you who missed the recovery it's probably disturbing news that history suggests we're already due for economic contraction. By many measures (employment, housing, consumer confidence and spending) the U.S. is only now gradually expanding again. The fragility of the gains and the manner in which GDP is all but flat, make it a subtle distinction between where we are now and a mild recession.
Rogers is less sanguine. "2013, 2014 you should be very worried and you should prepare yourself," he says.
No Help From The Economic Elite
None of the thinking coming out of Norway, where the Nobel prize for Economics was awarded this week for work in game theory and market matching, gives Rogers any solace whatsoever.
Rogers notes that the 42-year history of the Nobel Prize has resulted in a clean sweep for Western academics. Throughout that the economy of Japan skyrocketed then fell, South Korea became an Asian power and China started working with semi-free markets. If not prize-worthy the developments would seem worth a nod from Norway.
Pockets of Well Being
Not even Rogers sees a calamity for the entire global economy. He's bullish on service and sub-industrial growth in Asia and agriculture around the world. Forced, almost literally, to pick something investment-worthy, Rogers reluctantly heads down to the farm.
"I guess I would say agriculture is what I would invest in today if I had to invest in something," he says. It's not exactly an investment pep talk but, as always, Rogers is calling it as he sees it.