Global Investment Views: September 2018

The year began with a synchronised global recovery as most economies benefited from a buoyant environment. The risk of inflation and CB mistakes dominated investors’ fears. 

Since the spring, clouds have accumulated globally. The second half began under less happy auspices than the first, with a less buoyant economic climate and many risk hotspots. On the one hand, growth in the Eurozone was weaker than expected in H1 (after a strong second half of 2017). On the other hand, large EM have seen their macrofinancial situation deteriorate with the USD appreciation, which puts countries where private sector debt is denominated in USD into strong difficulty. For example, Argentina and Turkey are in crisis today. These are idiosyncratic shocks that in theory, should not spread. However, many EM were distrusted by investors during the summer. In addition, Donald Trump’s protectionist threats have multiplied. The proximity of the mid-term elections (6 November) is encouraging him to implement his promises of the presidential campaign on trade. Europe has been relatively spared for the moment, but in view of Donald Trump’s recent statements, one cannot rule out taxation on auto imports. That said, for now, China remains the subject of the most aggressive protectionist measures.

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