The recent collapse in global trade is the worst since the financial crisis and as steep as during the recession of the early 2000s, according to new figures from the Dutch government.“
“World trade volumes slumped 1.8pc in the three months to January compared to the preceding three months as factories grapple with a deepening global industrial downturn, the CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis revealed.
“An industrial slump has been triggered by a perfect storm of factors, including China’s slowdown, the car industry downturn, Brexit paralysis and Donald Trump’s attempt to upend the international trade system with tariffs on European and Chinese goods.”
“Brazilian economy suffered its largest contraction in nine months this February, a central bank indicator showed on Monday.
“The data adds pressure on new President Jair Bolsonaro to reignite an economic recovery which has been lackluster since Brazil’s deep 2015-2016 recession.”
“Argentina sold $30 million in the foreign exchange market on Monday at an average price of 41.55 pesos per greenback, traders said, marking the start of an IMF-approved peso-buying program aimed at bolstering government finances…
“Under the country’s standby financing deal with the International Monetary Fund, Argentina’s treasury will sell $60 million per day up to $9.6 billion by way of the central bank to finance government spending. Monday’s auction was the first of the peso-buying program.”
“Brexit is hampering economic growth — and that’s even before it’s happened.
“The new October deadline marks more than three years of uncertainty since the vote to leave the European Union. Even if the withdrawal agreement eventually passes through parliament, uncertainty will not end there.”
“The German government sees no need for a stimulus package to reinvigorate Europe’s biggest economy, a spokesman said on Monday….
“Seibert was responding to comments by a conservative lawmaker who said the right-left coalition government should consider a stimulus package to reverse a slowdown.”
“The central bank “solution” to runaway credit expansion that flowed into malinvestment was to lower interest rates to zero and enable tens of trillions in new debt. As a result, global debt has skyrocketed from $84 trillion to $250 trillion. Debt in China has blasted from $7 trillion 2008 to $40 trillion in 2018.
“A funny thing happens when you depend on borrowing from the future (i.e., debt) to fund growth today: the new debt no longer boosts growth, as the returns on additional debt diminish. This leads to what I term credit/debt exhaustion…
“…any attempt to institute extreme policies will expose authorities’ desperation right when confidence is vulnerable to collapse. The Fed and other central banks are trapped in more ways than one.”
“Risks of large-scale corporate defaults are mounting in China, despite economic growth that “remains robust by international standards”, according to a new report.
“The OECD found that sagging domestic demand and weak export orders have led Chinese authorities to swiftly resort to stimulus measures, through expansionary monetary policy, tax cuts and infrastructure spending…
“While China’s stimulus, estimated at as high as 4.25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, could lift growth in the short term, it could build up further economic imbalances down the road…”