13th October

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: Ahead of the IMF-World Bank meetings this week, the new IMF chief called for finding a “lasting solution on trade” while stating that the ongoing trade conflicts could cost the global economy close to $700bn or 0.8% of output by 2020. There were bursts of optimism from Brexit hopes and the “Phase…

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6th October

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: The JP Morgan Global Composite Output Index fell to 51.2 in Sep, its joint-lowest reading since mid-2016, with the service sector still outperforming manufacturing. New order inflows increased at a slower pace as international trade flows continued to deteriorate, while job creation in the service sector was the weakest in 7 years.…

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29th September

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: The World Policy Uncertainty Index is at its highest in a 20-year history– not surprising given the latest political dramas in the US (impeachment, ongoing confrontation with China) and the UK (Brexit, potential no-confidence vote and possible elections) on one hand, and the trade spats on the other (the unabated China-US wars,…

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22nd September

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: The focus has shifted slightly from trade uncertainty (still unresolved, with the latest being the Chinese delegation’s abrupt departure without visiting few US farms, as was expected before) to geopolitics in the region, following the attacks on Saudi oil fields. The attack on Saudi Aramco facilities has raised uncertainty about Saudi oil…

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15th September

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: The ECB lowered rates at the meeting last week, as did the Turkish central bank and Denmark. Up ahead this week are meetings in the US and across Europe (UK, Norway) as well as Asia (Japan) – while the Fed is widely expected to cut (Trump’s “Fed bashing” tweets are getting more…

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8th September 2019

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: Global economy continues to lose momentum –JPMorgan Global PMI fell to 51.3 in Aug, near a 3-year low, largely driven by the decline in global trade (which dropped for a 12th consecutive month; goods exports fell at the sharpest rate since Oct 2012). Data from the EU indicate a weak Q3 and…

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1st September

GLOBAL Developments Bottomline: The world awaits the impact from Sep 1 US tariffs – to be imposed on Chinese exports worth USD 125bn – and China’s retaliatory tariffs while the Japan-South Korea trade dispute drags on, and the US and Japan agree “in principle” to a trade deal “worth billions” to be signed in Sep…

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25th August 2019

While humans squabble and debate their commitment to combat climate change, nature has been relentless and unforgiving. Extreme weather events are growing in intensity and frequency. June 2019 was the hottest June in 140 years, setting a global record, and maximum temperatures last seen a century ago were felt in Bagdad, Bahrain and Kuwait. The…

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18th August 2019

Global MARKETS: After a topsy-turvy week, most equity markets recovered towards end of the week, on expectations of ECB stimulus: the week saw reactions to a delay in the Sep 1 US deadline for a 10% tariffs on Chinese imports, a short-lived yield curve inversion, as well as a Euro zone bank share meltdown (to…

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4th August 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Trade tensions have been one of the prominent policy uncertainties this year and worries escalated globally last week, with Trump announcing an additional 10% tariff on USD 300bn worth of Chinese imports starting Sep 1 and Japan deciding to remove South Korea from a list of trusted export destinations. Already, Markit Global…

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28th July 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: The IMF revised downwards its global growth projection to 3.2% this year and 3.5% in 2020, in its latest update of the World Economic Outlook. The PMI readings continue to reinforce the diverging trends between the manufacturing and services sector; policy uncertainty and resulting delays in business investments expedites the downhill move…

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21st July 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Geopolitical tensions are on the rise with the seizing of British vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, resulting in statements about “serious consequences”. Meanwhile, the IIF reported an increase in global debt to USD 246.5trn in Q1 this year, almost 320% of global economic output. China’s debt, at over USD 40trn, topped 300% of GDP…

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14th July 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Trade wars continue to bubble up – Japan-Korea trade spat on tighter export controls gathered pace last week (with Japan reportedly considering the removal of South Korea from a list of trusted export markets); in France, lawmakers approved a tax on big tech companies which is likely to result in retaliatory tariffs from the…

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7th July 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: With a stop-gap truce announced at the G20, China-US trade negotiations have resumed but with “no timeline” in mind, according to the White House economic advisor Kudlow. Chinese chatter seems to be tipped towards the negative side with the commerce ministry spokesperson mentioning that all imposed tariffs must be removed for the…

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30th June 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Though the Xi-Trump meeting at the G20 resulted in a gentleman’s agreement, there is a long winding road to navigate (technology, intellectual property, security issues etc.) before the tariffs are rolled back or a historic deal is reached. The G20 communique meanwhile steered clear of references to the ongoing trade wars or…

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23rd June 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Listening to global central bankers, loose monetary policy is the way forward (unless global outlook improves), except for the Bank of England which is battling Brexit. Geopolitical tensions have flared with the US deciding last minute to back out of air strikes on Iran. As we edge closer to the end of…

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16th June 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Central banks are scheduled to meet on policy this week, starting with the Fed on Tues-Wed – waiting for a clear direction, financial markets are already pricing in two cuts by end of the year (the CME Group’s FedWatch tool shows traders assign an 88% probability of a cut in Jul). The…

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9th June 2019

Markets: Most global equity markets ended positive week – optimism picked up as US revealed plans to give China more time to avoid a tariff hike (further, on Fri, Trump tweeted that tariffs on Mexican imports were “indefinitely suspended) while weak jobs data raised expectations for a Fed rate cut. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes…

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2nd June 2019

Weekly Economic COMMENTARY – Brought to you by Nasser Saidi & Associates – 2nd June 2019 Global Developments Bottomline: In the last week of May, as the “cold war” with China continued, came a few more trade “actions” from the US – India will be stripped of its preferential market access to the US from…

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26th May 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: The OECD became the latest to lower growth forecasts to 3.2% this year (the slowest pace in 3 years), with a staunch warning on “clear and present dangers” from trade war measures. Concerns remain whether the trade war between the US and China will escalate further, and more trouble is likely to…

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19th May 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Not much joy around the world – FDI into emerging markets falling to the lowest in 20 years; escalating worrisome economic wars, and breakdown of cross-party Brexit talks on one hand while geopolitical tensions in the Middle East edged up after Saudi oil facilities were hit by drones and oil tankers attacked…

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12th May 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Global growth headwinds are back in play – global manufacturing PMI (50.3 in Apr vs Mar’s 50.5) slipped to the lowest since Jun 2016 and the new order inflows is the weakest since 2012. The European Commission downgraded growth forecasts for this year and the next and as the US moves closer…

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5th May 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: The Fed kept rates unchanged, with its Chair pushing back against interest rate cut pressures saying inflation will rebound; there seems to be an issue of mixed messaging with two other Fed member statements leaving the door open to rate cuts. In Europe GDP surprised on the upside, in spite of the…

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28th Aptil 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Though US GDP surprised on the upside, it is likely temporary given the surge in inventories and smaller trade deficit; however, it will have an impact on Fed’s interest rate decision this week. Across the world, however, not-so-promising news including South Korea’s unexpected GDP decline, Japan’s dip in manufacturing, Sweden and Canada’s…

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21st April 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: China’s GDP was one of the major data releases last week: the PBoC said that “economic growth is resilient”, and repeated earlier assurances that it would not resort to “flood-like” monetary stimulus measures. Though still in contractionary territory, German and Japanese PMIs ticked modestly higher from Mar, offering hope that there are…

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14th April 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: The IMF issued its latest World Economic Outlook, lowering global growth forecast (for the 3rd time in 6 months) to 3.3% this year – the weakest annual growth since 2009 – before improving to 3.6% in 2020. Dragged down by uncertainties surrounding Brexit and the US-China (and global) trade wars, the IMF…

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7th April 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: Some glimmer of hope amidst glum data – China’s latest PMI readings point towards the impact from stimulus measures introduced earlier this year; though it looks like difficult times ahead for Europe given the latest woeful set of German data (which pushed German bund yields back to negative territory), IP data surprised…

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31st March 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: US and China wrapped up “constructive” trade talks in Beijing, according to US officials, and are scheduled to continue in the US this week; China’s People’s daily meanwhile published a commentary stating “we must have a ‘bottom line mindset’, and be prepared to not be able to reach a deal”. China will…

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24th March 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: The US economy is already slowing, partly due to the fading of a major fiscal stimulus in 2018; the US-China economic war and recent economic indicators have led the Fed to revise down growth forecasts for the country. The latest PMI data have disappointed: trade tensions have left their mark on the…

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17th March 2019

Global Developments Bottomline: In the US, there have been soft reports ranging from retail sales to housing alongside low levels of unemployment and rising wages; the Fed will likely hold interest rates steady at the meeting this week, also in line with Powell’s comments last week that the central bank does “not feel any hurry”…

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3rd March 2019

3rd March 2019 Global Developments Bottomline: March is going to be a crucial month – need to wait and watch if the latest set of weak economic data released across the globe, dampened by the lack of a China-US deal, will change in the coming weeks; another upcoming deadline this month is Brexit. Reading the US GDP…

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