December 12, 2019
Trump Keeps China Planners Guessing on Trade War’s Next Steps
“Chinese leaders who gathered in Beijing this week to chart a course for economic policy next year are used to doing so with precision, right down to the percentage point. At the confab — a byproduct of Communist central planning — President Xi Jinping’s government is setting targets for everything from GDP to inflation. This year, the trade war with the U.S. has thrown a spanner in their well-oiled machine. With a deadline for higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods just a few days away, the Communist Party apparatchiks are just as much in the dark about how the trade war will pan out as everyone else. But the wait for clarity might soon be over. There’s expected to be a closed-door meeting today at the White House to discuss how President Donald Trump, still apparently undecided, will proceed before more tariffs take effect Sunday.”
Turkey Surprises With Big Rate Cut Again as Erdogan Won’t Let Up
“The Turkish central bank delivered another interest-rate cut that exceeded forecasts, emboldened by the lira’s stability and egged on by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s calls for more aggressive easing. The Monetary Policy Committee reduced its key rate on Thursday to 12% from 14% at this year’s last scheduled meeting. While economists surveyed by Bloomberg unanimously predicted a rate cut, expectations ranged widely, with most seeing a decrease of 150 basis points. The MPC removed a phrase from its statement that said its stance was “to a large part” consistent with the the projected disinflation path, suggesting it could now move slower to loosen policy. The lira kept gains after the decision, trading 0.4% stronger against the dollar.”
China Signals More Effective Fiscal Policy to Stabilize Economy
“The Chinese government said it would improve the effectiveness of fiscal policy in 2020, while monetary settings remain “prudent,” signaling a fine-tuning of support measures as the world’s second largest economy slows. The Communist Party’s annual economic planning meeting declared that the government would maintain economic growth next year within a “reasonable range,” according to a summary of decisions carried by state media. The government and central bank will ensure reasonably ample liquidity, and the report also called for a continued lowering of the overall level of import tariffs. “The meeting pointed out that the basic trend of China’s economic stability and long-term improvement has not changed,” according to the statement. “Fiscal and monetary policies should work together with policies on consumption, investment, employment, industry, and the regions to channel investment to areas such as advanced manufacturing, improving people’s livelihoods, and gaps in infrastructure.” ”
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