Central Europe will go through stress tests in 2017
As the European Union is trying to reinvent itself and the United States considers recasting its global role, the Central European nations see no obvious path to follow. The relatively prosperous region faces tests of political and economic maturity that go beyond anything it has experienced since the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Global Outlook 2017: Scenarios for the economy
The world economy in 2017 will be defined by four variables: growth, oil prices, inflation and interest rates. Political events could also play an important role, especially a possible rapprochement between the United States and Russia and general elections in France. The potentially fateful impact of the latter on the European Union would be amplified by an Italian crisis.
Japan is trying another fiscal stimulus to make Abenomics work. The central bank appears to have given up, admitting in its latest quarterly report that monetary measures will not suffice to get inflation back to the 2 percent target. But the real culprit may be institutional inertia, which has kept the government from following through on promises of structural reform.
Mixed forecast for Latin America’s economies
Latin America has been slower to rebound after the financial crisis than most of the world. Now, however, some countries in the region seem poised to make progress. Their ability to participate in the global economic expansion will vary. Some, such as Argentina, Peru and Mexico are in a position to benefit. Others will struggle to gain traction.
What is India’s growth rate?
India's growth rate has shot up over the past two years, after the country's statistical office changed its methodology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's opponents argue that the figures are too good to be true. The reality is a bit more complicated, but there is no question that flaws in the statistics could be giving policymakers the wrong signals.
Central European states face dual fiscal challenge
By the beginning of the next decade, Central European countries will face two tough fiscal challenges. First is the risk of losing access to generous EU funds, which today support infrastructure investments. Second is the fiscal burden of health-care spending, which will rise rapidly as their populations age. These problems can be solved with gradual reform and careful planning – things that can rarely be counted on in politics.
The falling yuan: implications for China’s economy
In July 2016, the yuan dropped to its lowest rate versus the dollar since 2010. What does this development mean, and what can we expect for the future, given Chinese ambitions to present the yuan as a strong and reliable international currency? In order to make any predictions, it is necessary to know what the authorities in Beijing will do to address the current problems of the economy as a whole.
China’s slowdown could bring environmental benefits
Beijing is eager to use China’s economic slowdown as a means to improve the country’s environment. The slower growth gives the government maneuverability to address some of the country’s most pressing environmental problems. Nevertheless, doubts remain as to whether authorities are truly committed to green issues or are merely saving face. Lacking rapid economic growth to appease the populace, the government must address the other concerns, such as the environment.
China aims to build its own Nasdaq
Small companies and technology firms listed on the two minor boards within China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) have outperformed the big state-owned enterprises on the main boards of both the Shenzhen and Shanghai bourses in recent months. This may be a flash in the pan – or it may indicate that at long last these enterprises are starting to overcome institutional handicaps. The question is whether China can develop its exchanges into genuine capital markets that will allow these innovative firms to expand further.
A path forward for the Chinese economy
After almost four decades of rapid growth and structural transformation, the Chinese economy has entered a slower-growth phase that the government calls the “new normal.” Some pundits see this as a harbinger of collapse, others as a sign China is headed toward Japan-style stagnation. Neither of these will occur – as reforms are made incrementally, the Chinese economy’s huge potential for more growth will begin to open up.