Will the U.S. lead the economic recovery?

Sales people introduce properties to potential buyers at the 2010 Beijing Spring Real Estate Trade Fair on April 10, 2010 in Beijing, China. Some fear that a housing bubble is growing in China and other Asian countries.

Jeremy Hobson: Our regular Monday guest Julia Coronado is in the middle of an economic tour of Asia at the moment. And she joins us live from Singapore. Hi Julia.

Julia Coronado: Hello.

Hobson: So I want to get your thoughts on the U.S. earnings season in a moment, but first, since you are in Asia, I want to just ask you about the global economic view from Asia.

Coronado: What I'm hearing from people in Asia, that they've seen their economies slow pretty noticeably over the last six months, even though it was from a very, very strong starting point. They're also worried about a hard landing for their housing sectors. They've seen housing prices run up pretty strongly over the last few years, and there's some questions about how hard that could turn.

Hobson: And are they willing to admit right now that there is a housing bubble in places like China?

Coronado: Well, nobody really wants to use the word "bubble" because that means that it will burst, and you will have a hard landing. So right now I think policymakers in Asia are trying very hard to engineer that perfect soft landing.

Hobson: Well what about corporate earnings season here in the U.S. -- do people that you've been speaking with in Asia look to the U.S. as a bright spot?

Coronado: The U.S. has been the bright spot over the last few months -- that's without a doubt. And while Europe is certainly the cloud on everyone's horizon, I think that the U.S. -- partly because we went through such a harsh correction already -- does look to be the relative outperformer.

Hobson: Julia Coronado, chief economist with the investment bank BNP Paribas, thanks as always. And have a nice time in Asia.

Coronado: I certainly will try.

About the author

Julia Coronado is chief economist at BNP Paribas.


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