Survey of economists: US recession unlikely within 12 months

The NABE survey results reflect a collective belief that some of the US economy’s momentum is fading. (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 28 January 2019
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Survey of economists: US recession unlikely within 12 months

  • The survey results being released Monday reflect a collective belief that some of the economy’s momentum is fading
  • Most of the economists say President Donald Trump’s economic policies have done little to affect their businesses’ plans

WASHINGTON: A majority of business economists foresee no recession in the United States within the next 12 months but do predict a slowdown in growth this year.
A survey by the National Association for Business Economics finds that nearly two-thirds of respondents think the economy will keep growing this year in what would become the longest expansion on record in US history at more than 10 years.
Still, the survey results being released Monday reflect a collective belief that some of the economy’s momentum is fading. Compared with the NABE’s previous survey in October, for example, a smaller proportion of economists said their companies’ sales were rising. And fewer expect profit growth to increase. Corporate investments in new equipment has also cooled.
Most of the economists say President Donald Trump’s economic policies have done little to affect their businesses’ plans. An overwhelming majority — 84 percent — say Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which sharply reduced the burden on corporations, failed to influence their companies’ hiring or investment outlooks. A nearly equal proportion of respondents (77 percent) indicated that Trump’s trade policies haven’t affected their companies’ plans for hiring, pricing or investment.
The results fit a broader pattern. The economy appears to be slowing as a dose of stimulus from Trump’s tax cuts has been fading. Job growth has been steady, but the stock market has stumbled and global growth has deteriorated.
Home sales have weakened, and 2019 began with a blast of nervous uncertainty as the federal government endured what became a 35-day partial shutdown.
The NABE survey, which has been conducted quarterly since 1982, was based on responses from 106 economists who are employed by companies or industry trade associations.


SoftBank to launch Vision Fund 2 mega-venture

Updated 24 July 2019
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SoftBank to launch Vision Fund 2 mega-venture

  • Vision Fund 2 will aim to pull in existing investors such as the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia and Mubadala in the UAE
  • Vision Fund 2 is expected to at least equal the original fund’s $97 billion fund, and could reach $150 billion

LONDON: The global mega-investor SoftBank Vision Fund is preparing to launch another giant investment venture.
Vision Fund 2 will aim to pull in existing investors such as the Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia and Mubadala in the UAE, the biggest investors in the original fund along with SoftBank, the Japanese group run by Masayoshi Son.
Sources told Arab News that Vision Fund 2 is expected to at least equal the original fund’s $97 billion fund, and could reach $150 billion — which would make it the largest private investment fund in history.
A team from SoftBank Investment Advisers led by its chief executive Rajeev Misra and Masayoshi Son have been in preliminary discussions with potential investors for several months.
They have been talking to sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and elsewhere, as well as big global corporates, some of which were also investors in the first fund.

*** Read our full interview with CEO Rajeev Misra here: SoftBank Vision Fund stands shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia — CEO Rajeev Misra ***
Investment is also expected from global banks, insurance companies and pension funds, and SoftBank is expected to put up about $40 billion.
The first phase of the launch is due to end “in the next few months,” with a final close around 12 months later.
The original fund plans to return profits to existing investors over the next few months, including big partners such as PIF, Mubadala and SoftBank. If they see healthy returns they may be more likely to invest heavily in the new fund.
The interests of Saudi Arabia and the Vision Fund align as the Kingdom diversifies away from reliance on oil, Misra told Arab News. “Our commitment is to support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in Saudi Arabia, high-tech jobs not blue collar, over the next few years,” he said.