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Fri, 20th January 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “economic growth” Tag

10 takeaways from Xi’s Davos speech

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech on Tuesday at the opening plenary of the 2017 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos.

Here are 10 quick takeaways from the 50-minute address, which touched upon globalization, protectionism, world economy and China’s development among other subjects.

1. Many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization. Just blaming economic globalization for the world’s problems is inconsistent with reality, and it will not help solve the problems.

2. Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. Indeed, it runs counter to the historical trend.

3. At present, the most pressing task before us is to steer the global economy out of difficulty.

4. Lack of robust driving forces for global growth makes it difficult to sustain the steady growth of the global economy; inadequate global economic governance makes it difficult to adapt to new developments in the global economy; uneven global development makes it difficult to meet people’s expectations for better lives.

5. The world should develop a dynamic, innovation-driven growth model; pursue a well-coordinated and inter-connected approach to develop a model of open and win-win cooperation; develop a model of fair and equitable governance in keeping with the trend of the times; and develop a balanced, equitable and inclusive development model.

6. Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.

7. The Paris Agreement is a hard-won achievement which is in keeping with the underlying trend of global development. All signatories should stick to it instead of walking away from it as this is a responsibility we must assume for future generations.

8 people have same wealth as world’s poorest half -Oxfam

Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world. A top corporate CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 garment factory workers in Bangladesh. And the world’s 10 biggest corporations together have revenue greater than the 180 poorest countries combined, according to a study published Sunday by Oxfam.

The report, An economy for the 99%, was released as global leaders and the business elite traveled to Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a conference partly aimed at eliminating extreme income inequality. The study found that the richest eight people on the planet have net wealth of $426 billion — equivalent to what’s held by the bottom half of the world’s population.

“From Nigeria to Bangladesh, from the U.K. to Brazil, people are fed up with feeling ignored by their political leaders, and millions are mobilizing to push for change,” British-based Oxfam said in a statement. “Seven out of 10 people live in a country that has seen a rise in inequality in the last 30 years.”

The study is the latest in recent years by Oxfam, an international poverty-fighting group, to campaign for ways to reduce the growing gap between the rich and poor. Oxfam called on President-elect Donald Trump, world leaders and the international business community to “take urgent action to reduce inequality and the extreme concentration of wealth by ensuring that workers are paid a decent (salary) and by increasing taxes on both wealth and high incomes.”

“It is mind-boggling that just eight men own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, but that’s the sobering reality of 2017,” said Paul O’ Brien, Oxfam America’s vice president for policy and campaigns. “Such dramatic inequality is trapping millions in poverty, fracturing our societies and poisoning our politics.”

Oxfam based its calculations on data from Swiss bank Credit Suisse’s 2016 Global Wealth report and Forbes’ billionaires list of the world’s richest people.

India : Note ban gains ‘highly uncertain’, says Fitch

Benefits of demonetisation are “highly uncertain” and the potential positives are unlikely to be strong or last long enough to make a significant difference to government finances or medium-term growth prospects, global ratings agency Fitch said today. Taking into account the short-term disruptions, it also revised down the GDP growth estimate for the current fiscal to 6.9 per cent from the earlier 7.4 per cent.

“The note ban move has some potential benefits, but the positive effects are unlikely to be strong or last long enough to make a significant difference to government finances or medium-term growth prospects…benefits of demonetisation are highly uncertain,” the ratings agency said in a note.

“The intentions behind demonetisation are positive and in keeping with the broader reform efforts, but the short-term pains may outweigh the uncertain long-term gains,” it said.

Terming the note ban as a “one-off event” as people will still be able to use the new high denomination bills and other options like gold to store their wealth, it warned that “there are no new incentives for people to avoid cash transactions. The informal sector could soon go back to business as usual.”

World Bank latest reports says global growth to accelerate slightly

World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report … headlines:

 
  • Forecasts global real GDP growth at 2.7% in 2017 vs 2.3% in 2016
  • Forecasts advanced economies’ growth at 1.8% in 2017 (vs 1.6% in 2016)
  • Emerging/developing economies’ growth at 4.2% in 2017 (3.4% in 2016)
  • Forecasts US growth at 2.2% in 2017 (vs 1.6% in 2016) … they say their forecast excludes effects of any policy proposals from trump administration

More:

  • Challenges for emerging market commodity exporters are receding, while domestic demand solid in emerging market commodity importers
  • Fiscal stimulus in US could generate faster domestic and global growth, but extended uncertainty over policy could keep global investment growth slow
  • Forecasts China’s growth slowing to 6.5% in 2017 (from 6.7% in 2016)
(Headlines via Reuters)
 
The World Bank looking at the recovering oil and commodity prices, noting this eases the pressures on emerging-market commodity exporters. Expects the recessions in Brazil and Russia to end.
As always the Bank notes uncertainties in its forecasts (all forecasters should), with upside uncertainty (in the short term at least) on US potential increased fiscal stimulus, tax cuts, infrastructure spending.  Looking further out, though, a surge in debt load, higher interest rates & tighter financial conditions would have adverse effects.
Also downside potential on a more protectionist trade stance.

Peso Plunges To Record Low After Trump Tweet

The Mexican Peso is plunging once again this morning – very close to all-time record lows – as fears spread that Ford’s decision yesterday may become the norm following president-elect Trump’s tweet that “this is just the beginning.”

Bloomberg notes that Ford’s move, which follows a similar decision by United Technologies Corp.’s Carrier in November, makes it all the more important for Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to dissuade other foreign companies from following suit in the face of Trump’s wrath. Mexico’s northern neighbor buys 80 percent of the Latin American nation’s exports, and luring U.S. companies is a cornerstone of the government’s plans to modernize industries from construction to oil.

“A lot’s at stake, considering that since 1999 close to 46 percent of foreign direct-investment flows into Mexico originated in the U.S.,” said Alonso Cervera, chief Latin America economist for Credit Suisse Group AG. “Investors will likely be anxious to see which other companies may do the same.”

 The damage caused by companies buckling under political pressure offers a preview of the ripples that could jolt Mexico’s economy should Trump also follow through with threats to tear up free-trade agreements and to build a border wall. Economists in Bloomberg surveys have already cut their median forecasts for GDP growth in 2017 to 1.7 percent from an estimate of 2.3 percent before Trump was elected.

 

Demonetisation a big blow! GDP growth may dip below 6% in FY17

With consumption spends in rural and urban India stifled by the acute scarcity of cash, the economy is set to clock sharply lower levels of growth in the current and coming quarters. While the initial days of demonetisation saw economists merely pruning their growth estimates, the cuts could get bigger.

Nomura, for instance, believes there is a downside risk to its Q1 GDP growth projection of 6.9% y-o-y. “Near-term growth may fall much more than expected,” economists at the brokerage wrote. They alluded to proprietary indicators which had slumped to their lowest level since the series started in 1996 and were consistent with a below 6% GDP growth.

While sales have decelerated across markets, given the larger volume of cash transactions, the hinterland has been hurt far more than urban areas.

Cash shortage may slowdown GDP to 6.5% in Oct-Dec quarter: Nomura

Cash crunch post demonetisation is expected to slowdown India’s GDP growth to 6.5 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2016 and is likely to spill over into the first quarter of 2017, says a report. According to global financial services firm Nomura, the cash shortage is likely to last till January.

Nomura noted that even though the economy experienced a robust aggregate momentum before the demonetisation, its recovery was narrow-based due to weak investments and slow non-agriculture sectors with consumption serving as the only growth engine.

“We expect the cash shortage triggered by demonetisation to last until January and GDP growth to slow to 6.5 per cent in fourth quarter (October-December) and to remain subdued at 7 per cent in the first quarter 2017,” Nomura said.

“However, once the cash shortage eases, we expect a gradual recovery to take hold in the second half of 2017, owing to a boost to government fiscal finances and improved banking system liquidity,” it added.

India’s Q2 FY17 GDP growth at 7.3% vs 7.6% YoY

India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the second quarter of FY17 grew at 7.3% versus 7.1% quarter-on-quarter and 7.6% year-on-year. The GDP data comes at a time when there are growing concerns that the demonetisation decision of Modi government may slow down the world’s fastest growing economy in the coming quarters. Fitch Ratings has already lowered India’s GDP growth forecast for this fiscal to 6.9 per cent from 7.4 per cent, saying there will be “temporary disruptions” to economic activity post demonetisation.

It said economic activity will be hit in the October- December quarter because of the cash crunch created by withdrawal and replacement of 500 and 1000 rupee notes that accounted for 86 per cent of the value of currency in circulation. “Indian growth has also been revised down to reflect temporary disruptions to activity related to the RBI’s surprise demonetisation of large-denomination bank notes,” Fitch said, as it revised real GDP growth forecast down to 6.9 per cent for 2016-17, from 7.4 per cent projected earlier

Fitch cuts India’s FY17 growth forecast to 6.9%

Fitch Ratings today lowered India’s GDP growth forecast for this fiscal to 6.9 per cent from 7.4 per cent, saying there will be “temporary disruptions” to economic activity post demonetisation.

It said economic activity will be hit in the October- December quarter because of the cash crunch created by withdrawal and replacement of 500 and 1000 rupee notes that accounted for 86 per cent of the value of currency in circulation.

“Indian growth has also been revised down to reflect temporary disruptions to activity related to the RBI’s surprise demonetisation of large-denomination bank notes,” Fitch said, as it revised real GDP growth forecast down to 6.9 per cent for 2016-17, from 7.4 per cent projected earlier.

The US-based ratings agency also revised GDP growth forecast for 2017-18 and 2018-19 lower to 7.7 per cent from 8 per cent earlier.

“Gradual implementation of the structural reform agenda is expected to contribute to higher growth, as will higher real disposable income, supported by an almost 24 per cent hike in civil servants’ wages.

“But the anticipated recovery in investment looks a bit less certain in light of ongoing weakness in the data,” Fitch said in its ‘Global Economic Outlook – November’ report.

Pronab Sen: Demonetisation could knock 40bps off GDP in India

As the government firefights to contain damages from its demonetisation move, Pronab Sen, the country’s former chief statistician as well as the chairman of the National Statistical Commission, says more liquidity should be released towards production than consumption to maintain a balance in the economy.

In an interview, Sen also says given the current disruptions in the economy, the CSO’s decision to issue the advance estimate of the country’s GDP growth for the entire 2016-17 fiscal a month earlier than its usual schedule (in view of the advancement of the Budget date) will be a tough task. Also, such an advance estimate will be pure guesswork. Excerpts:

How much of a decline do you see in the GDP growth for 2016-17 due to demonetisation?

It is too early to give a precise forecast, but I think the negative impact on GDP could be to the tune of 40 basis points this fiscal (the GDP grew 7.6% in the last fiscal and 7.1% in the first quarter of 2016-17, the slowest in six quarters). But this forecast doesn’t factor in any damage to the production side. The overall impact will be spread over both the third and the fourth quarters of 2016-17. A key factor will be how quickly demand is restored in the economy. Since consumer demand will take some time to recover fully, there could be some adverse impact on investments. But small industries will be hit harder by a potential slowdown in both demand and supply.