Global economic growth is expected to pick up steam in the second half of 2013 despite uncertainties of the U.S. fiscal cliff and European debt problems, said the 2013 outlook report released by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Tuesday.
The banking group expects the global economy to grow at 3.2 percent in 2013, as a likely resolution of the fiscal cliff in the U.S. and a bailout for Spain, combined with high liquidity and low commodity prices, would support a gradual improvement in the global economy through the year.
"This time last year, the risks to global growth were to the downside as the European debt crisis, China hard landing fears and the U.S. fiscal cliff clouded the economic outlook," said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, during the outlook releasing conference.
"For 2013, we expect the resolution of fiscal policy issues, another year of accommodative central bank actions and improving corporate profits to skew the macro and market risks to the upside, " he added.
Specifically, growth is expected to rise to 2.5 percent in the U.S. and 8 percent in China, said the BoA research team.
In Europe, with support to Spain from the European Central Bank, the European economy may stabilize as the year progresses and a euro-zone breakup is unlikely.
Moreover, GDP growth in emerging markets is expected to recover to 5.2 percent, led by the BRIC countries, particularly China. However, rising inflation could leave policymakers of the countries with little room for more monetary easing.
BoA analysts believe powerful policy support, reasonable valuations and receding risks would help boost global equities in 2013. The U.S., European and Asian equity markets could see gains of 10 percent to 16 percent next year, with the S&P 500 Index reaching a new all-time high of 1600 by year-end.
For the currency market, the U.S. dollar and euro could rally on the global recovery and greater fiscal clarity, pushing the yen lower and emerging market currencies higher.