World’s growing much slower. Signs.

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Malaysia is a trading nation. We are ranked around 25 / 26th in the world based on import and export numbers. As per info from World Trade Organisation. We are 45th in the world based on population size. This meant that there are 44 countries having higher population than us. What these two things tell us is that when the world slows down, our growth would also slow down because our population is not big enough to push for huge consumption, unlike the US, China or even our ASEAN neighbour Indonesia. Last year we achieved 4.7% GDP growth which is a good number. Article here: 4.7% is healthy So, how’s the world growing this year?

Article in Bloomberg here. Global economy is expanding at its weakest since the global financial crisis. A UBS model suggested that the world grew 2.1% in 2018 and this is weakest since 2008-2009. China car sales dropped in January. U.S. retail sales posted worst drop in nine years in December 2018. In Europe, the sentiment continues to weaken. U.S. Federal Reserve is pausing its interest-rate hiking cycle. Fortunately, not all are negative news. This is assessment by Janet Henry, global chief economist at HSBC, “There are tentative signs that some industrial data are starting to edge up.” Though she ended with this, “It could still be a false dawn though, as survey data still point to further weakness.” Article in Bloomberg here.

Briefly, car sales dropping meant that the consumption is dropping and is usually a sign of loss in confidence; sentiment becoming more negative. One month is not a good sign though, perhaps 2 more months will be clearer. Sentiment weakening in Europe is a bad sign because when people feel the economy is getting worse, they stop spending and this compounds the issue too. U.S. Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates continuously because they felt that the U.S. economy was getting stronger. Pausing this meant that they are wary of the economy weakening. What this article tells us is that good times are not coming in the near future but whether its bad times or not, we need a bit more signs. Happy following.

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Article written and edited by Charles. News article summarised by Dina Batrisyia.

written on 26 Feb 2019

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