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More IHS Markit Musings on Global Economy

“Emerging markets cannot seem to catch a break,” reports IHS. "During September, many currencies, including the Russian ruble, South African rand, and Turkish lira, saw gains against the dollar—only to reverse course in October.

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The risk of a “no deal” Brexit is on the rise. Reflecting the tougher outlook, IHS Markit has reduced eurozone real GDP growth rates in 2019–21 by an average 0.2 percentage point a year. The eurozone economy is projected to expand 2.0% in 2018, 1.6% in 2019, and 1.3% in 2020.

At the same time the trade war is beginning to take its toll, say economists. The latest U.S. import tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are being imposed in two phases—10% last September, and rising to 25% on January of 2019.

These tariffs will have a direct impact of shaving 0.3 percentage point off real GDP in 2019. This negative effect will be partially offset by the government’s stimulus policies.

Beijing has announced personal income tax cuts, as well as increases in export tax rebates on a select list of products. The People’s Bank of China has also lowered the reserve requirement by 100 basis points for many banks, aiming to increase liquidity.

The trade war’s spillover effects have been visible. Business confidence is slipping, the growth in fixed asset investment has slowed sharply, and China’s currency and stock market have been hit hard. Real GDP growth is projected to slow from 6.7% in 2018 to 6.1% in 2019 and 6.0% in 2020.

Other large emerging markets may also be heading for the “perfect storm,” says IHS Markit.

“Emerging markets cannot seem to catch a break,” reports IHS. “During September, many currencies, including the Russian ruble, South African rand, and Turkish lira, saw gains against the dollar—only to reverse course in October.

A variety of factors are to blame for this new reversal of fortune. First, U.S. long-term interest rates have risen steadily in the past month. In turn, the U.S. dollar has strengthened and emerging-market bond yields have risen to their highest levels in four years. This has exacerbated the burden of dollar-denominated debt in many emerging markets.

Second, the recent surge in oil prices is becoming a major drag on oil-importing countries, especially those in the emerging world. Even countries whose finances are relatively strong, such as India, are affected. Given that IHS Markit predicts oil prices to remain high and global interest rates to keep rising.

“The pain will not end anytime soon,” conclude these economists.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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