Martin Leduc

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Martin Leduc

Bank of Canada
234 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0G9

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May 11, 2017

Why Is Global Business Investment So Weak? Some Insights from Advanced Economies

Various drivers of business investment can be used to explain the underwhelming performance of investment in advanced economies since the global financial crisis, particularly since 2014. The slow growth in aggregate demand cannot by itself explain the full extent of the recent weakness in investment, which appears to be linked primarily to the collapse of global commodity prices and a rise in economic uncertainty. Looking ahead, business investment growth is likely to remain slower than in the pre-crisis period, largely because of structural factors such as population aging.

The Case of Serial Disappointment

Similar to those of other forecasters, the Bank of Canada’s forecasts of global GDP growth have shown persistent negative errors over the past five years. This is in contrast to the pre-crisis period, when errors were consistently positive as global GDP surprised to the upside. All major regions have contributed to the forecast errors observed since 2011, although the United States has been the most persistent source of notable errors.

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