LONDON BHP Billiton Ltd. expects continued economic recovery in the United States and growth in Asia, while the European outlook remains challenging and uncertain, chairman Jac Nasser said at the miners annual general meeting Nov. 21.
"Over the last year, the U.S. experienced moderate growth rates, with the U.S. housing sector and the stock market strengthening household balance sheets. We are confident of the continued recovery in the U.S. despite some risk from the unwinding of monetary stimulus," he said. "On the other hand, conditions in Europe remain challenging, although relatively more stable. The European economy still faces structural issues, and uncertainty is likely to continue in the near term"
London-based BHP Billitons financial results have been affected by the slowdown in China, Nasser said, but pointed to continued strong growth in Asia and Chinese economic growth of more than 7 percent next year.
"China and other emerging economies will be the major drivers of global economic growth in the long term, which could deliver up to a 75-percent increase in demand for some commodities over the next 15 years," he said.
"In China ... weaker trade and softer manufacturing activity have been a slight drag on growth relative to expectations," Nasser said. "In Asia, we see strong growth overall. In Japan, the renewed policy push is positive for medium-term growth if the government can achieve its stated objectives."
BHP Billitons attributable profit for the fiscal year ended June 30 fell 29.5 percent year on year as revenue declined 8.7 percent to $66 billion.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.