HELLERUP, Denmark, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 2013 will be about bridging the huge reality gap between improving conditions of the financial system with the still stumbling real economy. That job is far bigger than consensus seems willing to admit, Saxo Bank writes in its financial outlook for Q1 2013. In the report published today, the Bank writes that the lack of confidence among small businesses in the US - a segment that represents 65% of all jobs and growth in the US - is the reason that Saxo Bank is below consensus on Q1 growth for the US but also the world. The consensus for 2013-Q1 US GDP is +1.6% but Saxo Bank says it will be closer to +0.8% In Europe, Saxo Bank believes this year will be a critical test for Germany's attitude toward the EU project. The Germans are being forced, step by step, to accept debt mutualisation and this will have a huge impact on not only Germany's credit rating, but also its export numbers. The Bank predicts that the painfully high unemployment rate and waning growth will make Club Med more forcefully call for all-in measures from the ECB similar to what the US Fed is doing. The ECB board has a majority for printing money and this will leave the German Bundesbank contingent very isolated. Saxo Bank is increasingly worried that violations of the EU Treaty once again will be ignored when Europe-wide unemployment keeps rising in coming months. In Asia, the Bank will keep an eye on China and its need to change its business model. China's economic experiment is now one generation old, having been born in 1979. China's next step is to move through the eye of the needle - evolving from the world's largest "emerging" economy to a fully developed superpower. In its quarterly outlook, Saxo Bank lists three key changes China will need to make this transition:
Increasing competition to reduce corruption;
Deeper and more developed domestic capital markets to cater for increased wealth and its storage, and, most importantly;
An extension of social welfare programmes, particularly healthcare.
All of these will help secure the hand-over from an economy over-reliant on infrastructure building and exports to one that is balanced with domestic consumption demand. This will only happen if the propensity to save is reduced through a more comprehensive social safety net, otherwise the average Chinese will keep his 40-50 per cent savings rate forever.