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Revisiting the Trend and Impact of U.S.-China Interest Rate Gap

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As the Federal Reserve accelerates the pace of interest rate hikes and shrinking its balance sheet, interest rates in the U.S. market have also risen. Especially since March, the 10-year U.S. bond yield has risen rapidly, and it has stood at 2.6% on April 6. The rapid rise in ten-year U.S. bond yields has also further narrowed down the U.S.-China interest rate spread. At present, the U.S.-China interest rate spread fell below 20 BP, far from the market consensus of 80 BP to 100 BP “comfort zone”, and has reached a historic low level. The market now believes that if the cyclical dislocation continues in the future, the trend of narrowing spreads between the U.S. and China will also continue, and may even appear inverted. Due to the dominant position of the U.S. dollar in the global currency, the narrowing spread between China and the U.S. is even more challenging for China, as it relates to the trend of the RMB exchange rate, the trend of cross-border capital flows, and the choice of monetary policy.

There is now a market consensus on the reasons for the narrowing of the spread between China and the U.S. In the later stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and the U.S. had different pace of economic recovery, as well as differences in monetary policy, which widened the interest rate gap of the two countries. This also brought about RMB appreciation and continued foreign capital inflows into China’s capital markets. With China’s economic pressure increasing and the U.S. economy maintaining a strong recovery, it is inevitable for the Fed to accelerate the pace of policy tightening while China’s monetary policy remains prudent. At present, it seems that the Fed will still accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes to push the benchmark interest rate to reach the 2% target, while China is still facing the demand for monetary policy easing to support economic stability. Under such circumstance, the U.S.-China interest rate gap will continue to narrow, and there is even the possibility of an inversion.

In a general sense, a narrowing of spreads will lead to a narrowing of arbitrage space between currencies, causing capital outflows, which will bring about a trend of exchange rate depreciation and downward volatility in capital markets. Such a trend, if worsened and caused market panic, could affect the stability of the financial system and overall macroeconomy. If we consider the narrowing spreads between China and the U.S. in 2018, the same lies in the economic cycle and policy differences between China and the U.S. The U.S. continued to raise interest rates in 2018, with the federal funds target rate increasing from 1.5% to 2.5%. At that time, China’s economy was under downward pressure due to trade friction, financial risk prevention. It was also the period when there is the economic restructuring of cutting overcapacity, reducing excess inventory, deleveraging, lowering costs, and improving weak links for the Chinese economy. This has forced China to cut rates several times in response, resulting in the 10-year U.S.-China bond spread falling from 1.48% to 0.24%. In this context, coupled with the intensification of the trade war between China and the U.S., the decline in export growth and capital outflows have led to the decline of China’s foreign exchange reserve, exchange rate depreciation, and volatility in the capital market. The most fundamental reason lies in the different economic growth trends between the two sides, and the narrowing of interest rate spreads is also the reflection of differences in economic fundamentals.

In the view of researchers at ANBOUND, the narrowing of the interest rate gap between China and the U.S. this time is very different from the past. First, the inflation issue will have a more significant impact on the exchange rate. The U.S. is currently facing obvious economic overheating, leading to high inflation, which actually makes it difficult for real interest rates to become positive even with the Fed’s rate hike. In fact, since the fourth quarter of last year, as the U.S. tightened and loosened, the U.S.-China interest rate spread began to narrow, but at that time, the RMB exchange rate performed strongly, and international capital has also increased its investment in China’s capital market. It was also during that period of time that ANBOUND pointed out the future change in RMB exchange rate could not be considered simply from the factor of the U.S.-China interest rate spread. Despite the narrowing of the market spread between China and the U.S., if the level of real interest rates affected by changes in their respective levels of inflation are taken into account, the real spread between China and the U.S. is not narrowing, but widening. This means that in the case of rising inflation in the United States, the narrowing of the difference in nominal interest rates between China and the United States will not completely lead to changes in real returns.

Secondly, the influence of external factors on capital flows should be greater than that of spreads. On the one hand, the outflow of funds from the domestic capital market in February and March is also related to the resurgence of the COVID-19. Both international and domestic investors are actually worried that the emerging “static management” prevention and control measures will have a negative impact on the economy and affect the investment returns of the capital market. On the other hand, the outbreak and continuation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the increasing financial sanctions imposed by Europe and the U.S. against Russia, have caused international investors to re-evaluate the geopolitical risks in cross-border investment. Many fear that China will also face a similar heating up of the financial war and thus start to withdraw from its capital market. In fact, the capital outflow phenomenon is actually not entirely caused by the narrowing or inversion of the U.S.-China interest rate spread; instead the deterioration of external risk factors would be the main reason.

Therefore, researchers at ANBOUND are more inclined to believe that the narrowing of the U.S.-China interest rate spread is a reaction to the fundamentals of the U.S.-China economy, which will have a certain impact on China, leading to the withdrawal of arbitrage funds and short-term market volatility. However, the focus of exchange rate, capital outflows, monetary policy adjustments and other issues should be on China’s domestic economic fundamentals, as well as changes in various factors of its capital market. Xu Weihong, global research partner of ANBOUND, stated that the monetary policy of the RMB has been “decoupled” from the U.S. for half a year, and the correlation of market interest rates is not strong. The performance of China’s capital market is more due to the recurrence of the COVID-19 and the suppression of trade and investment, which have worsened market expectations for economic growth.

With the continuous opening up of China’s economy and financial markets, exchange rate fluctuations and capital flows are normal phenomena that need to be viewed from a systemic and long-term perspective. The interest rate spread problem caused by economic and policy differences is only one of the external factors affecting China’s economy, even not a decisive one at that. Thus, both market investors and policy departments need not get too hung up on the changes in the U.S.-China spread, but should focus more on the basic factors that promote economic growth and structural improvement, as well as the changes in the current internal and external development environment. In terms of policy, it is still necessary to enhance the “autonomy” of monetary policy, focus on improving the internal development environment, and promote a virtuous circle of economy and finance, so as to achieve a “soft landing”. In this case, the growth potential of China’s economy and investment opportunities will be attractive to international capital, thereby forming an external cycle conducive to China’s development.

A researcher at ANBOUND, graduated from the School of Mathematics at Peking University and has a PhD in economics from the University of Birmingham, UK

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Economy

What Is Stopping Economic Development Across The Free World?

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Notice the big events of economic booms during the last century and observe the unique role of mobilization of entrepreneurialism on such trajectories. For example, the original Silicon Valley of the USA was not a technology or financial revolution but the mobilization of an entrepreneurial journey, way before the term ‘IT’ became popular, and ‘technology’ conceptualized as worthy enough to trade in billions while staying invisible. The out-of-box thinkers came out of their garages, broke old systems, created new alternates and changed the world forever. Revolution of entrepreneurs, created by entrepreneurs and for entrepreneurs. The rest is history

Today, some 100 other nations are still trying hard with their own version to become the copycats. The existing lukewarm failures around the world on the replications of “silicon valley” of sorts, already speak volumes. Remember, only measured by entrepreneurialism, such goals, unless once Mindset Hypotheses properly understood this entire subject already beyond common narratives on economic growth.

Real economic development always needs methodical advancements of national mobilization of entrepreneurialism, upskilling and uplifting SME sectors to quadruple exportability otherwise, growth and productivity remain stagnant.  The big challenges are to bring the entrepreneurial thinking and job creator mindsets blend across the economic development teams on a fast track basis. Their current frame of mind critically needs uplifting so their confidence level stands up to the global quality, demands for speed and execution able to tackle the power of global competitive forces.  

Neither across the world, during the entire last decade, did academia build neither the long awaited Fourth Industrial Revolution nor did the bureaucracies digitized, mobilized and uplifted SME economies. Where is the entrepreneurial mix in all such equations? What have the economic development teams really learned recently?  When will they get ready to advance their thinking and blend their efforts alongside the entrepreneurial engines and right mindsets?

When 100 plus nations, talking about digitization, are still trying to figure out mobilization of large sectors of their SME economies, with little or no progress, lingering questions arise. Necessitated now, are some newly mandated activities at every stage of any economic development in progress. Identify and rearrange right mindsets, for right challenges. What worked, last many decades, today, with no results, now ready for thrown out of windows? How long unlimited printing of currencies last, how high will inflation go and how long the recessions last?

The post-pandemic technologically advanced world,  Best option is to balance mindsets and cause change, adjust to global age demands on productivity and performance, otherwise accept a diaper change, surrender to face frailty of life and limits of minds. It is not the absence of expertise that is a problem, it is the mindsets unable to recognize such expertise, in the first place.

The invisible switch: There is no political power unless there is a parallel economic power; after all, there cannot be any economic power without entrepreneurial job-creator-mindset power. Economies without digitization are as if without electricity, economic development without upskilled frontline teams as if without a bulb. Study the solutions via Mindset Hypothesis

The 4B factor: Four Billion on the march; billion displaced due to pandemic, billion replaced due to technology, billion misplaced in wrong jobs now a billion on starvation-watch. The 4B Factor, this digitally connected mass of people making this now the biggest force of global opinion in the history of time.

Global opinion v/s national public opinion: Observe, how fast the world changed, how the ocean of global opinion is now drowning ponds of national opinion. Notice, nations are already so intoxicated, in joy over the popularity of their own national opinion, while having just an opposite global opinion on the world stage. Study the global tidal waves.

Study the Agrarian Age to Industrial Age, later to Computer Age, measure how most talented ‘cow-hands’ were suddenly replaced by steam power and hydraulics and later floors filled with clerks replaced by a single computer. Study “How did we arrive here so suddenly” Excerpted Source: Naseem Javed, Sunrise, Day One, Year 2000. Published, IABC Communications World, Dec. 1995, Volume 12 Issue 11, Article, ‘Chronology Charts’

Over centuries, despite, available like an open book, the government failed to create armies of entrepreneurs but was always successful in creating real armies and real combat soldiers. Simply because, soldiers trained by sleeping in the forests while digging trenches in the rain, but not trained by running around in classrooms with water pistols or drawing pictures of tanks. 

Entrepreneurialism is neither academia born nor academic centric. Let the professors teaching entrepreneurialism break the furniture in protest, their contributions, as theories are excellent only when free, but not for heavy cost and creating student debts. Today business education is more a liability and no longer a real asset. The world changed, minds opened, old-systems closing, new worlds arising with new definitions erupting to manage the future better.

Go build an airline, place aeronautical engineers, and frequent flyers in the cockpits but leave qualified trained pilots in the airport lobbies. Now glued to the radio to find about a crash understand the similarity to current pending financial crashes, nation by nation. As a test, best check out what percentage of entrepreneurial job creator mindsets are in the mix with job seeker mindsets of any local, national economic ministry anywhere in the free world.

Save economies and grab the solutions: They can rapidly upgrade and acquire Mastery on National Mobilization of Entrepreneurialism,learn its pragmatism and common sense deployments within months, acquire digitization, mobilization and most importantly to articulate on such advanced new thinking across the national agenda. Learn fast, fail fast, raise fast and shine. Study how Expothon is tabling such ideas globally. 

Today, a shipload of some 7000 economic development officers, representingalmostthe total of top teams spread across free economies of the world should now take a luxury cruise, relax, relearn, unlearn, as their current mathematics is causing serious maladjustments on creating grassroots prosperity for some 100 nations. How fast can this force of 7000 people on a luxury cruise be upskilled on National Mobilization of SME Entrepreneurialism?

The difficult questions: How quickly options when infused with technology lead to mobilizations to discover new paths. Which economic leadership of free nations can display such transformation or even articulate on such critical topics? Which national or global institution is bold enough to face and debate such challenges? Which economic team is ready to test, explore, or try on such forbidden topics? Nevertheless, the world changing fast and will not stop for anyone.

Observing the change, it will not be the sudden arrival of missed Fourth Industrial Revolution; but the surprised arrival of the First Industrial Revolution of the Mind. Study deeply how the mind is opening up and responding to creative entrepreneurial issues, the old concept already dead, now replaced with new thinking. Leaving behind the woman entrepreneurs is another tragedy for any nation. What are some new solutions

Just like today, we no longer tolerate square wheels or rotary dials, or chasing a form stamped 10 times, across a 10-floor building without a lift. The post pandemic economic recovery in smoke and mirror war games, will no longer tolerate the inefficiencies and bureaucracies. Of course, today, the ability to face the truth now considered extraordinary strength. Change can be beautiful, once minds opened.

Refusing to face the truth; this is where all the hostility and hate breeds,  and where without diversity and tolerance, wars and fakery declared the common games, this is when humankind left as secondary, common good declared waste, societies destroyed, so who needs economic development, anyway? A new wave of grassroots economic development will emerge as the top-level economic development almost already destroyed. Hear the sounds of distant firings. It will be the five billion connected alpha dreamers, who will develop and change the world. The rest is easy 

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The first Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum Comes On 1-3 September at Barbados

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With the new dawn gradually unfolding, African financial institutions such as the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are making tremendous efforts and offering support for African leaders in consolidating Africa’s economy within the framework of the African Union Agenda 2063. They have consistently been pushing to transform agriculture as the safest approach to reduce imports and insure food security, improve industrialization and the raise the efficiency of human resource capital in Africa.

The Government of the Republic of Barbados will be hosting the first ever edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) which is being convened by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Government of Barbados in collaboration with African Union Commission (AUC), African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Africa Business Council, the Caribbean Community Secretariat, and Caribbean Export Development Agency. 

The African and Caribbean ties are deep rooted and based on shared history, culture, and sense of a common identity and destiny that was forged by the slave trade creating large centres of African Diaspora in the Caribbean and elsewhere. While Africa and the Caribbean have renewed their engagement, with a Heads of State and Government Summit of the Caribbean Community and Africa, held on 7 September 2021, the relationship needs to be institutionalized through deepening of trade and investment ties between the two regions.

The holding of the inaugural Africa-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum is, therefore, a key strategic deliverable towards the institutionalisation of the reborn relationship between Africa and the Caribbean. This Forum will further consolidate the political agreement reached by Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community and which aims to strengthen collaboration, unity and to foster increased trade, investment and people-to-people engagement between the two regions.

It is in this context that the inaugural Africa Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF), has been organized to hold during 1-3 September at Bridgetown, Barbados. The Forum dubbed: AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2022, will hold under the theme “One People, One Destiny. Uniting and Reimagining Our Future” vividly reflecting the common cultural aspirations. 

The main goal of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum is to provide a platform for the development of strategic partnerships between the business communities in Africa and the CARICOM Region with the objective of fostering bilateral cooperation and engagement in trade, investment, technology transfer, innovation, tourism, culture and other services. The Forum will also be used as a vehicle to actively promote trade and investment opportunities among people of Africa and the Caribbean, as well as the wider diaspora which will contribute to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and to the Caribbean trade development agenda.

Africa leaders and its people highly appreciate the readiness of external countries, who in practical terms, engage in infrastructure development, agriculture and industry especially at the dawn of the rapid geopolitical changes possibly leading to creating a new global economic order. Noting the significance, a number of countries are simultaneously trying to understand barriers in the region and are steadily exploring ways to leverage unto the newly created AfCFTA which provides a unique and valuable platform for businesses to access an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people in Africa.

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China’s economy showing resilience and potentials amid headwinds

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Since the beginning of this year, the increasingly complicated international environment and weakened global economic recovery, as well as sporadic but multiple local outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic caused harsh impacts on China’s economic development.

Affected by both domestic and external unfavorable factors, China’s economic performance in the second quarter was less ideal than expected, which has resulted in some negative rhetoric against China’s economy on some media. In this case, I would like to share some views on China’s economy and its prospects:

First, China’s economy managed to grow in the second quarter despite downward pressure. In the second quarter of this year, the impacts from a new round of COVID flare-ups and other unexpected factors steeply increased the downward pressure on China’s economy, and major economic indicators tumbled in April.

However, the Chinese government responded with resolute and swift actions. We put stable growth higher on the agenda, held ground against a massive stimulus, worked to front-load the policies set, and introduced and implemented a policy package for stabilizing the economy. The effects emerged immediately. In May, the decline in major economic indicators slowed.

In June, the economy stabilized and rebounded. Major indicators picked up fairly fast and returned to the positive territory. As a result, the economy registered a positive growth in the second quarter. The gross domestic product (GDP) of China in the first half year was 56,264.2 billion yuan, up by 2.5% year on year at constant prices. In terms of specific economic indicators, industrial production was steadily recovered and the total value added of industrial enterprises above designated size grew by 3.9% year on year in June which is 3.2% higher than in May. The service industry production index also increased from -5.1% to 1.3%. The total retail sales of consumer goods bounced back from -6.7% to 3.1% in June demonstrating market sales improvement and fast growth in retail sales of goods for basic living.

Exports went up by 22% which is 6.7% higher than the previous month. By ensuring supply and price stability in the market, focusing on grain and energy production, and overcoming the impacts of imported inflation, the consumer price is also generally stable and the employment improved. 

Second, China’s economy is expected to recover gradually and maintain steady growth. The risk of stagflation in the global economy is on the rise these days, thus raising the concerns of instability and uncertainty in China’s economic growth. However, China’s economy has strong resilience and great potentials and the fundamentals sustaining China’s long-term economic growth remain unchanged. With the implementation of a series of policies and measures to stabilize growth, China’s economic performance is expected to gradually improve. First, a major economy like China always has enormous resilience.

We should be aware of the considerably large scale of China’s economy and its advantages for having a solid material foundation and a huge domestic market. Second, the potentials of demand recovery are significant. Chinese government is determined to stabilize investment, accelerate the issuance and use of special-purpose bonds, speed up major projects construction, and encourage infrastructure investment. We expect to see further consumption recovery as the offline consumer services are reviving and the government policies to boost consumption are coming into effect.

Moreover, China’s foreign trade sustained great resilience. In May, China’s total import and export volume increased by 9.5% year-on-year, 9.4% higher than the previous month; and 14.3% in June, 4.8% higher than that in May. Third, there is a concrete foundation for production to rebound. Following the steady recovery of production, the industrial and supply chains have been gradually smoothed, and the promoting effects of key industries such as automobiles and electronics will further strengthen. And the service industry turned from a decline to an increase in June as the pandemic situation improved.

In addition, the promising recovery of transportation industry will also be of great help for the further production boost. Fourth, innovation will provide new momentum for economic growth. Under the pandemic, traditional industries have accelerated their transition and expansion towards digitization and intelligentization, meanwhile new industries continue to develop steadily and rapidly. Fifth, China’s macroeconomic policies are consistent and precise. The positive effects of policies such as large-scale tax refunds, issuance and use of special-purpose bonds, and increased financial support for the production will emerge, which will contribute to the steady recovery and growth of the economy.

Third, China’s economy has been deeply integrated into the global economy, and opening-up is one of China’s fundamental national policies. China cannot develop in isolation from the world, and the world also needs China for its development. Affected by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, the global industrial chain, and supply chain are disturbed. As a result, many countries are stuck in multiple crises in terms of food and energy. Rising prices have forced major economies to tighten their economic policies, and pushed the world economy into a substantial risk of stagflation. China, as the largest developing country in the world, has profound developmental potentials and can certainly provide a strong impetus for the global economic recovery.

China will deepen high-level opening-up, stay committed to free trade and fair trade, and help keep the two wheels of multilateral and regional trade cooperation running in parallel. Continued efforts will be made to foster a market-oriented, world-class business environment governed by a sound legal framework, and ensure foreign enterprises’ equal access to unlimited sectors in accordance with law in order to realize mutual benefit amid fair competition. China is ready to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19 and willing to make its COVID control measures more targeted and well-calibrated under the premise of ensuring safety against the pandemic. We will steadily optimize the visa issuance and COVID testing policies and keep resuming and increasing international passenger flights in an orderly manner, and prudently advance overseas commerce and cross-border travel for labor services, so as to better promote personnel exchanges and China’s cooperation with the world.

In the first half of this year, the bilateral trade between China and Iran increased dramatically, consolidating China’s position as the top trading partner of Iran. We are sure that the steady recovery and growth of China’s economy will provide more opportunities for countries around the world including Iran. In the second half of this year, China will hold a number of exhibitions like the 7th China-Eurasia Expo, the 22nd China International Fair of Investment and Trade, the 132nd Canton Fair, and the 5th China International Import Expo which are great chances for Iranian merchants to learn more about China’s market and conduct cooperation with China. China will actively implement the Global Development Initiative and all countries around the world, including Iran, are welcome to benefit from China’s economic development, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation through greater openness and cooperation in trade, investment and other fields. In this way, we will be able to collectively build a community with a shared future for mankind.

From our partner Tehran Times

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