Something remarkable has happened over the past two years: China has started to tackle its addiction to debt. With the authorities finally addressing China’s biggest economic weakness, the medium-term risk to the Chinese (and global) economy should be on the decline.
How does the potential trade war look from China’s angle? Although a full-blown trade war between the US and China is not our base case, there is still a lot to consider. The macro impact currently appears to be very manageable, although even if it all blows over, we observe a tectonic shift in the US-Sino relationship.
On the face of it, things don’t look good for Mexico; and that’s reflected in asset prices. Its largest trading partner has threatened to scrap a free trade agreement that's been in place for almost a quarter century. In addition, a populist is leading in the polls to replace President Peña in the July elections. But look again and you might see a country potentially on the cusp of a spectacular comeback.
On Friday, we are likely to receive confirmation that Chinese inflation jumped to almost 3% in February, up from 1.5% previously. Higher Chinese inflation conjures up scary scenarios. It could force the People's Bank of China into hiking interest rates when the economy is slowing and saddled with massive debt. It could also add to building inflationary pressures in the US and UK, hastening interest hikes and weighing on equity and bond prices. But relax! The jump in Chinese inflation shouldn’t trigger any of this.