Monday, August 20 2018 | ASIA TODAY INTERNATIONAL - Reporting the Business that Matters in Asia
Updated: 6 hours 27 min ago
The next federal administration’s energy policy will be a key factor influencing economic growth, the fiscal balance, investment and the transition to an energy model more geared towards renewables.
Consumer prices increased 0.55% (mom) in July below our estimate and market consensus (0.9% vs. 1%), leading the annual figure to rise to 15.85% from 15.39% in June. The downside surprise came from the lower food inflation than our expectation, while the worsening in core inflation continued as annual core inflation reached 15.1%.
IOSCO issues recommendations for trading venues. EBA issues RTS on securitisation, and home-host cooperation under PSD2. It also issues a report on the functioning of resolution colleges. ESMA publishes findings of peer review for UCITS. US Treasury issues report on Fintechs. OCC starts accepting applications from Fintechs.
In regional terms, tensions held stable in Europe, while they rose in Eastern Europe. The situation in Morocco and Israel sparked instability in the Middle East. Both in Latin America and Asia, social unrest remains low.
In recent months, concerns surrounding the financial health of the business sector have been on the rise. In particular, market participants are worried that higher price pressures, faster monetary policy normalization, and a trade war, amid stretched valuations, could trigger a significant decline in risk appetite.
The Spanish banking industry made profits of 3.106 billion euros in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the losses posted in 2017, which were prompted by the sale of Banco Popular. Cleaning of bank balance sheets is gathering pace, while deleveraging of the private sector is ongoing. The efficiency and profitability of the system have improved in the first quarter.
By means of the media data (GDELT), we can monitor both the coverage and tone of NAFTA considering the main sources of information by country (US, Canada and Mexico). Media coverage increased at key moments during the NAFTA renegotiation process since President Trump’s victory. Negotiation rounds have drawn special interest. In general, media sentiment has been negative.
The maintenance of domestic demand growth and the fiscal impulse will support the growth of the western communities this year. Going forward, the increase in oil price, the exhaustion of the tourism sector, the increase in tariffs worldwide and the uncertainty about economic policy may pose greater risks for some communities.
Latin America will grow 1.3% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019, with considerable heterogeneity across countries. These forecasts are lower than the previous ones, mainly due to the revision of growth in Argentina and Brazil. This adjustment in the two countries could not be compensated by the upward revisions of growth in Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay.
With no additional deterioration of inflation risks, and the recent appreciation of the MXN, we expect Banxico to hold rates steady.
The economy is starting to settle into improved performance, with positive surprises. Political tension has reduced, business confidence has improved and private expenditure shows a good performance. As a result, we expect output to grow by 3.6% this year and 3.9% next, more than we forecast in our last report.
The data for the first quarter shows a slight increase in the public accounts. This rate of improvement does not seem sufficient to offset the expansive bias of fiscal policy. This would mean a slowdown in the process of reducing the deficit and the public debt, which increases the vulnerability of the Spanish economy in the medium term.
Turkish financial assets remain under stress. The level and the duration of adjustment in the economy will depend on the policy reactions in the short term. Inflation reached alarming levels on last year´s loose policies, high inertia and second round effects. Both fiscal policy and monetary policy should complement each other to fight against inflation.
Brexit negotiations are speeding up and they are becoming incredibly complex, both from the technical point of view - how to make each side’s red lines compatible - and the political point of view - how to get the final agreement passed by the UK parliament.
The trade war between China and the USA finally broke out on 6 July, when the US imposed 25% tariffs on US$34 billion worth of imports from China, to which China responded by applying the same tariff to the value of imports from the US.