At the recent July 2023 meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee, they named insufficient domestic demand as one of the key challenges facing its economy today.
The year 2023 has brought an evident fracture in the global landscape, dividing the world into two contrasting realities. Initially, predictions for this year pointed to the United States entering a recession due to rising interest rates aimed at curbing inflation. The IMF expected the recession to affect Mexico, Central America and Colombia, regions closely linked to the economic dynamics of the North. On the other hand, South American countries with stronger ties to China were to continue to experience steady but moderate growth.
CHINA'S FOREIGN TRADE 2022 -2023
The IMF's World Economic Outlook appeared on 12 October, and the report on China's economy came out on 24 October. Both are bad economic news reports. However, the IMF report gives terrible news for some but only a few, which seems unrealistic in an adverse global environment. The dependence of Western central banks on the Fed's interest rate is a reality in a world of open balances of payments and deregulated financial markets. When the Fed moves the interest rate, all central banks move in the same direction, or the exchange rate suffers as a consequence.
Mexico is a mixed economy: its GDP ranks among the 20 largest countries in the world, some industrial branches have a global presence, and its workforce is internationally competitive; however, its performance in recent decades has been negligible to the point that, after the fall of 2020, it was one of the Latin American countries with the slowest economic recovery. What is the reality facing the Mexican economy?
The year 2021 was one of recovery after the economic and health crisis. Most governments have followed spending policies since the mid-2020s to cushion the downturn and shore up the recovery. Although almost all countries followed Keynesian macroeconomic prescriptions, the intensity and effects in each country varied. How is the recovery going in Latin America, and what to expect for the region?
The monetary policy responses to the economic and health crisis due to covid-19 were to lower interest rates, the historical amounts of liquidity injected by central banks, and loans to the financial sector.
The implemented monetary policy, known as "quantitative easing", had the objective of halting the fall of the stock market, stimulating consumption, investment and employment which, in turn, would favor economic recovery.
The upcoming normalization of monetary policy will be a challenge for central banks. The experience gained with the 2008 crisis shows that normalization is a medium and long-term policy and there is uncertainty about what, how and when it will be.
Globally, inflation closed 2021 at its highest level in the last twenty years (40 years in the case of the US) and projections indicate that during 2022. However, even if it is lower than last year, we will continue to see it high in 2022. Why is it a top concern for governments, central banks and consumers?
Governments are concerned that central banks will speed up the normalization of interest rates in the face of high inflation rates. This would put a brake on economic recovery and job creation and, in some cases, would cause the deterioration of the fiscal balances of some countries that acquired debt to mitigate the effects of the economic contraction or slowdown.
The strategies followed by governments and central banks to control inflation will determine the economic conditions of the coming years and the ability of the world to recover from the economic contraction of 2020.
Evergrande's bankruptcy seems to be the most covered topic by the specialized press nowadays, they even foresee an economic crisis in China. The actual situation of the conglomerate does not mean a world crisis, although perhaps a problem for the Asian country.
China was the only large country to grow in 2020 and the first to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Its investment in fixed assets is one of the main drivers of growth. The gross value of the construction sector had a 19% growth in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 2020.
The Chinese outlook is not encouraging, but it is not catastrophic as posited. The Chinese government and press seem more concerned about international trade and energy supply than about the construction and banking sectors. The real estate bankruptcy may present a problem for the domestic market in the short term due to job losses, but experience shows that the government will not let it drift.
Global inflation is rising rapidly in a year of uneven growth rates, higher than estimated in the US and the European Union (EU), and lower for all but the Asian economies.
The question is why inflation is being discussed when consumer price indices in the US and EU are stable, and what effect these discussions have on international interest rates.
To counteract the inflations produced by these causes, central banks are preparing to readjust interest rates, which are currently at their lowest real levels in decades.
Latin American economies continue to recover thanks to the momentum of external and domestic demand. In some countries, both engines are warming up in coordination, while in others, the external one recovered faster. In several countries in the region, fiscal policies were implemented to reactivate domestic demand.
GDP is returning to its pre-pandemic levels thanks to the impulse of the main trading partners of Latin American countries and the price of raw materials, and to the support in monetary transfers to families and companies.
According to IMF estimates, Latin America's GDP will decrease 8.3% in 2020, while South America 8% and the Caribbean Basin 9.9% will be the most affected. Growth in 2021 will be higher in the southern countries than in the Basin, 3.8% and 3% respectively. With the return of international trade, the speed of recovery depends on domestic demand.