Risks to the global economy in 2019

Trump's volatility is a risk that can barely be mitigated
Trump's volatility is a risk that can barely be mitigated

Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where investors think recent patterns are unlikely to change. They will include a growth recession in China, a rise in global long-term real interest rates and a crescendo of populist economic policies. KENNETH ROGOFF* writes

CAMBRIDGE: As Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you think you know for sure that just ain’t so.” Over the course of this year and next, the biggest economic risks will emerge in those areas where investors think recent patterns are unlikely to change. They will include a growth recession in China, a rise in global long-term real interest rates and a crescendo of populist economic policies that undermine the credibility of central bank independence, resulting in higher interest rates on “safe” advanced-country government bonds.

A significant Chinese slowdown may already be unfolding. US President, Donald Trump’s trade war has shaken confidence, but this is only a downward shove to an economy that was already slowing as it makes the transition from export- and investment-led growth to more sustainable domestic consumption-led growth. How much the Chinese economy will slow is an open question; but, given the inherent contradiction between an ever-more centralised party-led political system and the need for a more decentralised consumer-led economic system, long-term growth could fall quite dramatically.

Editor's Comment
Keep your mask close

Wearing of masks behind closed doors has been mandatory following the government’s August decision that the public was freed from masking in outdoor spaces.According to a press statement from the ministry, all other remaining COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing in schools and requirements for vaccination or PCR tests at ports of entry have also been relaxed.Statistics still show that hundreds still die daily due to the pandemic around...

Have a Story? Send Us a tip
arrow up