30 October 2016
A year ago when International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Maurice Obstfeld arrived at the institution, three big worries loomed. The first was whether China, the No. 2 economy, would succeed in rebalancing its economy. The others were: the struggles of commodity exporters suffering steep falls in demand, and the US Federal Reserve’s first liftoff in interest rates.
These days, to all of the above – the Fed is widely believed to be poised for a second lift in rates – add two more.
One is a persistent slowdown in the growth of trade relative to gross domestic product and deflationary pressures. The other, political uncertainties are rising across the globe and that’s bad news for the world economy.
… With that has come a backlash against immigration, most dramatically manifested in the dramatic results this June of the British referendum on leaving the European Union. Mr Barry Desker, the Singapore diplomat and former head of the trade-promotion body, warned recently in these columns that the era of globalisation may be drawing to a close, “akin to the shift that took place at the start of the 20th century when World War I ended a time of open trade and protectionist policies came to the fore during the Great Depression”.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 31/10/2016