global economy

The global economy could surprise on the upside

SINGAPORE (Feb 18): Despite the growing pessimism, we think that many of us could be underestimating the chances of a turnaround in the global economy. This is not to question the evidence that the global economy is slowing, which is real, as we discuss below. Nor is it meant to dismiss the downside risks that have emerged. Our view is that the risks can be contained and there are several countervailing forces coming into play that should help crystallise a recovery in global economic activity in the second half of this year.

Trump sees no Xi summit by tariff date, stoking trade worry

WASHINGTON (Feb 8): President Donald Trump said he won’t meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to avert higher US tariffs on Chinese goods, intensifying fears the two won’t strike a deal before the end of a 90-day truce.

Trump responded “No” and shook his head Thursday when reporters at the White House asked him if he would meet with Xi this month. Then he added, “Unlikely.” But the US president said the two would “maybe” meet later.

IMF cuts global growth outlook, cites trade war and weak Europe

DAVOS, Switzerland (Jan 21): The International Monetary Fund on Monday cut its world economic growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020, due to weakness in Europe and some emerging markets, and said failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilise a slowing global economy.

In its second downgrade in three months, the global lender also cited a bigger-than-expected slowdown in China’s economy and a possible “No Deal” Brexit as risks to its outlook, saying these could worsen market turbulence in financial markets.

Relations between big powers becoming more and more like ‘Game of Thrones’, says Widodo

(Oct 12): Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged global central bankers and finance ministers on Friday to remain committed to cooperation and to "nudge their leaders in the right direction" to contain growing risks facing the world's economy.  

At the plenary session of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings being hosted by Indonesia, Widodo peppered his speech with references to the HBO series "Game of Thrones", where families and kingdoms battle for power in a fictional continent, to explain risks facing the global economy.

MAS strikes upbeat tone amid trade tensions

(Oct 10): Global economic risks may have risen but there’s no need to overreact just yet, said Singapore’s central bank chief Ravi Menon.

“Dark clouds are an appropriate phrase but it’s not raining yet,” Menon, managing director at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “I don’t want to paint too glossy a picture on it but I don’t think we should overreact.”

Debt is not the problem; sustainability is

SINGAPORE (Sept 21): There were at least 102 Singapore-listed companies with net gearing ratios of above 100%, with 17 operate in the property management and development industry, according to 12-month trailing data from Bloomberg.

Even so, there are wide differences in the financial strength of individual companies within each sector. Take the two largest developers City Developments (CDL) and CapitaLand, Each has net gearing below 50%, whereas several of the smallest developers, such as Aspial Corp and Chip Eng Seng, have net gearing levels of around two times or higher.

Are we headed for another recession?

SINGAPORE (Sept 7): The outcome of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has altered the business and economic landscape — for better or worse.

First, tighter regulations in the financial services industry were introduced in the US, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted in 2010. Globally, including in Singapore, Basel III required banks to have higher capital and liquidity requirements.

The GFC’s warning signs had been missed by the financial markets community, from economists to bankers and analysts.

How is the world economy faring amid US-China trade tensions?

SINGAPORE (Aug 28): Although near-term activity indicators remain stable, global growth appears to be losing momentum in 2018, compared to 2017 when major regions were accelerating.

Currently, Asia and Europe appear to be slowing, diverging from the US, which is still experiencing strong growth.

In a Schroders TalkingPoint report, chief economist and strategist Keith Wade sees three main factors as contributing to what seems to be a summer hiatus and whether these are likely to have a permanent or temporary effect.

1. Cooling China

Global economy still looks good for Asia

SINGAPORE (Apr 30): Recent weeks have seen investors becoming more nervous. Bond, equity and currency markets have turned more volatile. It appears that three sets of risks have conspired to hurt business and investor sentiment — signs of slower global growth, the ill-tempered exchanges between the US and China over trade and -geopolitical concerns.

JP Morgan sees more volatility ahead but is cautiously optimistic

SINGAPORE (Apr 19): Strong global demand should continue to fuel capital expenditure spending and trade but growth momentum for the global economy is moderating, says JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) in its market outlook for the second quarter of 2018.

Dr Jasslyn Yeo, Global Market Strategist at JPMAM, says: “We see a broadening growth recovery in 2018, with the developed markets of the US, Eurozone and Japan growing above trend, led by strong market demand fuelling capex and trade recovery.”

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