International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Is economic winter coming?

(Nov 18): What could trigger a recession in the US? In the past, a tightening labour market after a period of expansion served as an early warning sign. Workers would become more difficult to find, wages would start climbing, corporate profit margins would tend to shrink and firms would start raising prices. Fearing inflation, the central bank would then raise interest rates, which in turn would depress corporate investment and spur layoffs.

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Global economy set to deliver upside surprise

SINGAPORE (Nov 11): A quick scan of the headlines shows continued pessimism about the world economy. Respected international organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have downgraded their forecasts for global growth and many institutions with super-duper forecasting models have also chimed in with downbeat prognostications. On the surface, this makes sense since the downside risks sound pretty intimidating: a nasty trade war, weaker momentum in some large economies such as the eurozone and China and some formidable geopolitical risks.

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Chinese whispers in the wind

SINGAPORE (Nov 4): Making investment decisions can be difficult at any time, particularly when including internationally listed companies. Investors must also consider the international links and global logistics chains that even domestic investment candidates are exposed to. It takes time for a full picture to emerge, and often by that time, it is too late to rescue some investment decisions and to make new decisions in a timely manner.

Here are some whispers in the wind that suggest investors need to revisit the focus of previous and future investment decisions.

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IMF cuts growth forecast but MAS expects recovery; Kimly buys canteens

SINGAPORE (Oct 28): The International Monetary Fund has slashed its 2019 growth prediction for Singapore to 0.5%, down from its July estimate of 2%. This is IMF’s second downward revision for the city state; in its World Economic Outlook report in April, it had forecast a growth of 2.3%.

The situation is not expected to get much better next year, either. “Growth is projected to remain subdued at 1% in 2020, given Singapore’s dependence on external trade,” Jonathan Ostry, Deputy Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific department says at a press conference on Oct 23.

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IMF cuts Singapore's 2019 growth forecast to 0.5%

SINGAPORE (Oct 23): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slashed its 2019 growth prediction for Singapore to 0.5%, down from its previous estimate of 2% in July.

This is the second downward revision by the IMF, which had forecast a 2.3% growth for the city state in its World Economic Outlook in April.

Amid an uncertain global economic outlook plagued by the downturn in electronics and exports, Singapore officials currently forecast a growth rate of between 0% and 1% this year.

Market observers aren't panicking just yet despite increasing risks to global economy, says DBS

SINGAPORE (Oct 21): Despite a deteriorating global economic outlook, market observers are not panicking yet owing to the possibility that growth could still find support from several drivers.

These include low interest rates, “some sort of a trade deal”, bottoming of electronics demand, and the “revival” of a few large emerging market economies, says Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Bank.

On Oct 18, China announced third quarter GDP of just 6%, its slowest growth in almost three decades as factor production and investment sentiment were hit by the trade war.

We are one mistake away from a global recession

SINGAPORE (Oct 18): Here is the silver lining to slowing world growth: We are a long way from 2009, when the global economy contracted. The bad news is that this balancing act is looking increasingly shaky.

IMF launches World Trade Uncertainty index; Asia-Pacific among regions feeling the heat most

(Sept 10): The newly minted World Trade Uncertainty (WTU) index has detected a significant rise in global trade uncertainty after remaining at stable low levels for about 20 years.

The WTU index, which was launched on Monday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), measures uncertainty related to trade for 143 individual countries on a quarterly basis.

Concerns about global trade hit nearly 10 times the peaks seen in previous decades and could shave about 0.75 percentage point off world economic growth this year, the IMF said, in reference to the data it had compiled.

Briefs

SINGAPORE (July 22): “Carrying around their cup was a status symbol. They were the first store in New York to offer extra virgin olive oil. Now Amazon has extra virgin olive oil. Everyone has extra virgin olive oil.”Restaurant critic Joshua David Stein, on reports that premium grocer Dean and DeLuca’s is struggling to survive after 42 years in the business.

Trump threatens to impose more tariffs on China

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Is China the world’s loan shark?

SINGAPORE (July 22): China is not just the world’s largest exporter of goods; it is now the world’s largest exporter of capital, too. Of course, these two facts are linked. China earns so much from being the world’s factory, and the spending of its households is so constrained, that it needs to find somewhere to park the difference. That is the basic imbalance underlying the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China’s big push into the developing world.

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