Without adjustment on the home front, we believe that President Donald Trump's push to reduce the trade deficit is unlikely to improve the US trade balance, or boost domestic employment and growth. However, his outspoken approach and questioning of the prevailing trade system may be the very jolt that global trade negotiators need to update their thinking and move ahead with a constantly changing global economy and patterns of trade.
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.
What happens when babyboomers retire? Have we saved enough for retirement or are we living beyond our means? Academics argue high savings by prime-aged babyboomers in their 'summer' have depressed real interest rates in recent decades. But the community is split as to what happens next as 'winter' comes.
Emerging market assets have long been a source of both potential profit and peril for investors. 2017 saw an incredible streak of capital inflows into emerging market equities, bonds and currencies. Whilst returns are still characteristically volatile, this historically maverick asset class has become more mature and resilient than ever before, as was highlighted during February's market sell-off.
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.