The Chief Economist’s Note

Taking stock of the health of the global economy

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

The continued weakness in key economic data, together with the recent abrupt change in tone by the European Central Bank, has prompted renewed questions about the health of the global economy. At times of heightened uncertainty, I think it’s useful to split any analysis into three parts: what we know, what we think we know … Continue reading “Taking stock of the health of the global economy”

Why the consensus on Asia is wrong – and why it matters for the rest of the world

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

Last week we held a series of conferences across Asia and Australia discussing the outlook for the global economy and financial markets. You can find recordings of all our presentations here. A recurring question from clients, perhaps unsurprisingly, centred on the outlook for China and the implications for economies elsewhere in the region. China receives … Continue reading “Why the consensus on Asia is wrong – and why it matters for the rest of the world”

The dangers of over-interpreting a US-China trade deal

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

We seem to be moving towards an agreement between the US and China on trade. What would this mean for the global economy? The finer points of the deal are still unclear, but it is likely to involve Beijing agreeing to increase its imports from the US in several areas (soy, oil, natural gas, wheat, … Continue reading “The dangers of over-interpreting a US-China trade deal”

Policymakers still have ammunition – but will they use it?

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

Do policymakers have sufficient ammunition to fight the next economic downturn? It’s a question that’s vexing economists – and at first sight the answer appears to be “no”. After all, on the fiscal side, public debt ratios in most developed economies are still well above their pre-2008 levels and in some cases (notably the US) … Continue reading “Policymakers still have ammunition – but will they use it?”

If you only watch one chart, make sure it’s this one

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

Will the recent weakness in a broad swathe of economic data be a flash in the pan or does it herald the start of a new global downturn? The answer is likely to depend in part on what happens to financial conditions. Financial conditions is a somewhat esoteric term to describe how the prices of … Continue reading “If you only watch one chart, make sure it’s this one”

Time for policymakers outside the US to step up to the plate

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

With concerns about the outlook for the global economy starting to build, thoughts are turning to what policymakers might do to support growth. A common refrain is that the current low level of real interest rates and high levels of public debt limit the room for conventional monetary and fiscal stimulus. That’s true but, as … Continue reading “Time for policymakers outside the US to step up to the plate”

As the data collapse, what might we be missing?

Posted by Neil Shearing | Category : The Chief Economist's Note.

Annual gatherings, like those in Davos last week, tend to produce little in the way of meaningful policy shifts, but they can be a useful way of gauging the mood about the global economy. This year it was decidedly gloomy. The IMF grabbed the headlines by pulling down its forecast for global GDP growth in … Continue reading “As the data collapse, what might we be missing?”

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