In addition to their regular forecasts, country panellists were asked to provide estimates of the growth of corporate profits in their respective economies between now and 2027. As is our usual practice, the data is measured as the average percentage change over the previous calendar year. Not surprisingly, the individual profits definitions differ according to local custom and data availability. However, following discussions with forecasters from our country panels, the definitions outlined below were considered as the most widely accepted economic measures of corporate profitability. The resulting consensus forecasts represent mean averages of the panellists’ forecasts. Readers should note that the groups of survey respondents may be smaller than those listed on our main country forecast tables.
Our surveys for Corporate Profits cover each of the countries listed below, and are conducted twice a year in May and November. The table and text commentary below represents a portion only of this special survey taken from our May 2022 issue of Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe.
|Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe|
Corporate Profits from the May 2022 Survey
Definitions (all in nominal terms and all on a national accounts basis except Japan and Norway)
United States:- Pre-tax Corporate Profits with capital consumption and inventory valuation adjustment, i.e. after allowance for depreciation and for the impact of inflation on inventories.
Japan:- Pre-tax Corporate Recurring Profits with capital consumption and inventory valuation adjustment, all industries excluding financial and insurance.
Germany:- Gross Entrepreneurial and Property Income, excludes all wage and salary income but includes that from interest and dividends.
France:- Gross Trading Profits of non-financial companies and individual businesses, before interest and taxation.
United Kingdom:- Private Non-Financial Corporate Trading Profits, i.e. income (excluding North sea oil and gas activities) before tax, excluding all income of overseas subsidiaries and before allowance for capital depreciation but net of stock appreciation.
Canada:- Pre-tax Corporate Profits, excluding interest and investment income and before allowance for either the impact of inflation on inventories or capital depreciation.
Spain:- Gross Corporate Profits (whole economy), before interest and taxation.
Corporate Profits – Hammered by the Pandemic
Peaks and troughs in corporate profitability tend to precede those of the business cycle, with profit growth rates often peaking early in an economic expansion and then easing again before a downswing is fully underway. This leading cyclical pattern is represented in the chart (below) which shows recent corporate profits evolution and forecasts for the United States, the United Kingdom (excluding North Sea oil and gas revenues) and Canada. As can be seen in the chart, profits growth is expected to decelerate noticeably and hit a low in 2023. Japan, Germany and France are expected to see earnings weakness even earlier, in 2022, impacted by supply-chain problems, soaring inflation hitting disposable incomes, and war in Ukraine which, among other things, raises the threat of cut oil and gas supplies to Western Europe. The high cost of inputs (especially for energy, agriculture and raw materials) will hurt importing producers.
The US, German, French, UK, Canadian and Spanish series, as measured by the national accounts, are each based on a large sample of firms and are only broadly comparable. We also show quarterly forecasts for corporate profitability in the US to Q4 2023.
A portion of the text from Consensus Forecasts – G7 and Western Europe, May 9, 2022.